Monday, July 6, 2009

Dog Bites: Prevention is Key

Summer is the time when most dog bites occur, and children under age 15 are the most likely victims. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 400,000 children each year seek medical attention for dog bites. American Humane urges parents and dog owners to learn how they can help keep their neighborhood children safe.

"Any breed of dog may bite. And even family pets, not just dogs that are unknown to a child, have the potential to bite," said Dr. Bill Torgerson, DVM, vice president of Animal Protection Services for American Humane. "Relationships between kids and animals can be so positive and meaningful - on both sides - it would be tragic to discourage that because of fear. At the same time, the worst thing that could happen is for a child to get hurt."

According to American Humane, adults - both dog owners and parents - play the most important role in keeping children safe and ensuring that the interaction is positive for both the children and the dogs.

To prevent dog bites, adults should teach children:
  • Never to approach an unknown dog or a dog who is alone without its owner, and always ask the owner's permission before petting it.
  • Never approach an injured animal - go find an adult who can get it the help it needs.
  • Never approach a dog that is eating, sleeping or has something it likes - like a bone or toy - because it may feel the need to guard it.
  • Don't poke, hit, pull, pinch or tease a dog - the dog may not realize you're just playing.
  • Don't chase or run from a dog.
"Adults need to realize that children must be supervised whenever they are playing with any dog because children often don't realize what their actions say in 'dog language.' Babies and young children should never be left unattended with a dog, not even the family pet," Torgerson said.

Read more of this article: Dog Bites: Prevention is Key

More You Might Like:
Pet Adoption Guidelines: Choosing a Pet
First Aid for Cat & Dog Injuries
The Family Dog & Your New Baby
Puppy Love

No comments:

Post a Comment