Each year, more than 4.5 million people in the U.S. are bitten by dogs with nearly 1 in 5 people requiring medical attention. As a result, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA), the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the U.S. Postal Service sponsor National Dog Bite Prevention Week each year.
National Dog Bite Prevention Week (May 18-24) is a public service seeking to educate the public about dog bite prevention. Many things can be done to avoid dog bites, ranging from properly training and socializing a pet to educating children on how -- or if -- they should approach a dog. Information and education are the best solutions for this sort of public health issue.
Below are several tips from Hupy and Abraham for you and your children to help avoid accidental injury and prevent dog bites:
- Avoid unknown dogs. If you see a dog you don’t know and it’s wandering around loose and unsupervised, avoid the dog and consider leaving the area. Alert animal control.
- Note signs like a yellow ribbon or bandanna that may indicate a dog should not be approached. Never touch or approach a strange dog without asking the owner for permission first. Remember, service dogs are working animals and should not be distracted while they are doing their jobs.
- Never disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, chewing on a toy or caring for puppies. Always assume a dog that doesn't know you sees you as an intruder or a threat.
- Resist the impulse to scream and run away if approached by a dog that may attack you. Remain motionless, keep hands at your sides and avoid eye contact with the dog.
Below are some tips for dog owners to help prevent dog bites:
- Avoid putting your dog in a position where it feels threatened, stressed or teased.
- Train dogs with the basic commands of "sit," "stay," "no" and "come" so they understand what is expected of them, and they can be incorporated into activities that build trust between them and people.
- Walk and exercise your dog regularly to keep it healthy and provide mental stimulation to avoid over excitement when encountering people.
- Use a leash in public to ensure your ability to control your dog and to show others that you are in control of your dog.
Hupy and Abraham is committed to preventing dog bites and helping dog bite victims get the justice they deserve. If you or someone you love was injured by a dog, please contact us at 800-800-5678 to schedule a free consultation today.