National Dog Bite Prevention Week is intended to raise awareness about the nearly 5 million dog bites that occur every year. It's also to help prevent these incidents from happening again. American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), along with support from the United States Postal Service (USPS), physicians, the insurance industry and Victoria Stillwell from Animal Planet’s “It’s Me or the Dog” hosted this year’s event in offering tips to help prevent dog bites.
Even good dogs can bite
AVMA is reminding people that even good dogs can bite when they feel uncomfortable or threatened. That is why it's especially important to supervise children when they are in the presence of a dog. According to statistics, around 800,000 people, half of whom are children with most common age range between 5 and 9-years-old, receive medical attention each year because of dog bites. Because of that, it is important to educate ourselves on how to be safe around animals. It is essential to teach children how to behave around dogs as well as to socialize your puppy or dog.
Here are some tips on how you can avoid getting bit by a dog:
- Never approach an unfamiliar dog, especially one who’s tied or confined behind a fence.
- Don’t pet a dog, even your own, without letting them see and sniff you first.
- Never turn your back to a dog and run away because a dog’s natural instinct will be to chase you and catch you.
- Don’t disturb a dog while they are sleeping, eating or caring for puppies.
- Be cautious. Dogs can feel territorial when someone approaches them on their turf, and they may see you as intruder or a threat.
Let's all be extra careful and always be safe around these animals. I have witnessed firsthand with clients who have been bitten by dogs and the injuries can be devastating. Please make sure if you have been attacked by a dog to get the proper medical attention immediately. If you feel that legal action is necessary, contact an attorney who is familiar with dog bite cases.