Safety First | Dog Bite Prevention
Things to Remember | Dog Bite Prevention
Our own Dr. Stephanie West appeared on A.M. Buffalo on July 5th to talk about dog bite prevention. Here we will go over a few things mentioned to help prevent a dog bite from happening.
Despite how loving and good natured our dogs are, it is important to remember that dog bites do happen, and they happen quite frequently. The CDC reported that 4.7 million dog-bite incidents happen in the U.S. every year. As many as 50% of cases where medical treatment is deemed necessary are cases that involve children. We’ve decided to put together a few tips to prevent a dog from biting, just to raise awareness and hopefully help in case of emergency.
A Healthy Dog is a Happy Dog
Specific breeds tend to get a bad rap for being “aggressive” or biters, but first things first; all dogs bite. It doesn’t matter what breed the dog is, or how large the dog is, any dog is capable of biting when they feel scared, anxious, or uncomfortable. For dog owners, keeping your pup healthy is the first step in preventing biting. Younger dogs that may be teething should be provided with chew toys. Regular visits to the vet and a healthy diet will help ensure your dog is happy.
Teach Young Children Dog Safety
As mentioned, half of dog-bite incidents that require medical treatment are incidents that involve young children. The majority of these scenarios could be prevented, with the right preparation. Teaching children what to do and not do around dogs, cats, or any pet in the house is important for their safety. Here are a few brief reminders to ensure that kids know about dogs:
- Dogs don’t like to be hugged/kissed
- Don’t reach through fence to pet a dog
- Don’t pet a dog while they’re eating
- Don’t let dog out when a stranger (mailman) comes to door
Recognize Signs of Aggression
Whether we are talking about the family dog, or a dog we cross paths with in public, there are certain signs of aggression to watch out for. Here a few characteristics of a dog that may be preparing to bite:
- Tensed Body
- Eyes Rolled Back
- Stiff Tail, Raised
- Ears Pulled Back, Tilted
- Furrowed Brow
- Backing Away or Charging Weight Forward
- Flicking Tongue, Lips Curled Back
- Intense Stare
- Aggressive Barking
Know What To Do
So, worst case scenario, you are staring into the eyes of a dog that looks ready to bite. Here are a few dos and don’ts for when a dog is acting over aggressive.
Run Away From Dog Keep Hands at Side
Scream or Panic Slowly Back Away
Make Eye Contact Be Very Still
Hopefully you never cross paths with a dog who is ready to bite, but these are all important bits of information to remember in the event you do. If your dog or animal is bitten by a dog, and needs emergency veterinary care, remember that Veterinary Emergency Clinic is here, 24 hours a day, ready to respond. We will answer your questions and get your animal in as quickly as possible to be treated by our passionate team of veterinarians. Remember, a healthy dog is a happy dog!
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