For National Dog Bite Prevention Week® (April 8 -14),
WASHINGTON, April 5, 2018 – Every year more than 4.5 million Americans, more than half of them children, are bitten by dogs. As part of the National Dog Bite Prevention Week® coalition, American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, encourages adults to protect both children and dogs, and learn the importance of pet owner responsibility.
“Dogs are our best friends, providing love, comfort and protection,” says Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane. “But it’s up to us humans to be good friends to them as well by protecting everyone around us – ourselves, our kids, and our dogs – from the dangers and consequences of dog bites.”
Dogs can bite for many reasons, including improper care and/or a lack of socialization. All dogs, even well-trained, gentle dogs, are capable of biting however when provoked, especially when eating, sleeping or caring for puppies. Thus, even when a bite is superficial or classified as “provoked,” dogs may be abandoned or euthanized. Therefore, it’s vitally important to keep both children and dogs safe by preventing dog bites wherever possible.
�� “A dog bite can have a profound effect not only on the victim, but on the dog, who may be euthanized, and the dog’s owners who have to cope with the loss of a beloved family member,” said Dr. Kwane Stewart, Chief Veterinary Officer for American Humane’s “No Animals Were Harmed®” program, speaking at the National Dog Bite Prevention Week Coalition kick-off event in San Diego on April 5. “All those who have a canine companion need to make sure they know the steps they can take to prevent their dog from biting someone.”
To reduce the number of injuries to people and the risk of relinquishment of dogs who bite, American Humane offers the following suggestions:
For Dog Owners:
American Humane also offers a free online booklet available for families with children called “Pet Meets Baby,” providing valuable information on introducing a new child to a home with a pet – or a new pet into a home with a child: http://www.americanhumane.org/interaction/programs/humane-education/pet-meets-baby.html.
Consider these statistics and tips provided by National Dog Bite Prevention Week® Coalition members:
|About American Humane
American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization, founded in 1877. For more information, please visit www.americanhumane.org today.
Collaboration promotes National Dog Bite Prevention Week®
SCHAUMBURG, Illinois (May 18, 2012) – Of the 4.7 million Americans victimized annually by dog bites, more than half are children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Veterinarians, the U.S. Postal Service, the medical community and the insurance industry are working together to educate the public that dog bites are preventable.
As part of this effort, the Postal Service is releasing its top 25 dog-attack city rankings to postal employees to kick off National Dog Bite Prevention Week®, May 20-26. The annual event provides dog-attack prevention tips, information on responsible pet ownership and medical treatments tips if attacked.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the Postal Service, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery, the Insurance Information Institute and Prevent the Bite are driving home the message that dog bites are a nationwide issue and that education can help prevent dog bites to people of all ages.
“Children between the ages of five and nine years old, engaged in everyday activities with their own or a neighbor’s dog, are the most frequent victims of dog bites,” said AVMA President Dr. René Carlson. “We all want to protect our children from dog bites, and one of the best ways to do that is by properly training and socializing our dogs.”
The AVMA offers the following tips:
How to Avoid Being Bitten
· Never leave a baby or small child alone with a dog.
· Don’t run past a dog. The dog’s natural instinct is to chase and catch you.
· If a dog threatens you, don’t scream. Avoid eye contact. Try to remain motionless until the dog leaves, then back away slowly until the dog is out of sight.
· Don’t approach a strange dog, especially one that’s tethered or confined.
· Don’t bother a dog that is sleeping, eating or caring for puppies.
· People choosing to pet dogs should obtain permission from the owner first and always let a dog see and sniff them before petting the animal.
· If you believe a dog is about to attack you, try to place something between yourself and the dog, such as a backpack or a bicycle.
· If you are knocked down by a dog, curl into a ball and protect your face with your hands.
How to be a Responsible Dog Owner
- Obedience training can teach dogs proper behavior and help owners control their dogs.
- When letter carriers and others who are not familiar with your dog come to your home, keep your dog inside, away from the door in another room.
- Dogs can be protective of their territory and may interpret the actions of others as a threat.
- Spay or neuter your dog. Neutered dogs are less likely to roam and to bite.
- Dogs that receive little attention or handling, or are left tied up for long periods of time, frequently turn into biters.
“Given the right circumstances, any dog can bite,” said Dr. Carlson. “By acting responsibly, owners not only reduce dog bite injuries, but also enhance the relationship they have with their dog.”
Watch the AVMA video for tips on dog bite prevention or download the following AVMA resources to learn more:
What you should know about dog bite prevention brochure
Tips on how to avoid being bitten, as well as what to do if you are bitten by a dog. The brochure also addresses what you need to do if your dog bites someone.
NEW: Backgrounder: The role of breed in dog bite risk and prevention
This backgrounder reviews and provides scientific context on dog breeds and their purported tendencies to bite.
A community approach to dog bite prevention (PDF)
The American Veterinary Medical Association Task Force on Canine Aggression and Human-Canine Interactions has produced this report intended to help state and local leaders develop effective dog bite prevention programs in their communities.
The Blue Dog Parent Guide and CD
This innovative dog-bite prevention program is designed to help parents and children safely interact with dogs both inside and outside their home. The program is geared toward children from 3 to 6 years old. It's the only dog-bite educational tool scientifically proven to help young children learn behaviors that can keep them safe.
Bilingual Dog Bite Prevention activity/coloring book
Teach children about different ways to avoid dog bites, by educating them on how, or if, they should approach a dog.
For more information, please visit, www.avma.org.