The third week of May each year is designated as Dog Bite Prevention Week. We've recently concluded that week and hope that the statistics will show an improvement over the prior year.
It's such a preventable issue, yet the numbers are bad enough that a week has been dedicated to its awareness. So how bad is it? There are 4.7 million victims of dog bites each year according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. They, along with the American Academy of Pediatrics, the U. S. Postal Service and other agencies sponsor Dog Bite Prevention Week which is a national educational campaign.
The majority of dog bite victims are children, with the elderly and postal carriers coming next. Last year, Houston, TX led the nation in postal service carriers being attacked by dogs, followed by Santa Ana, CA and then Sacramento, CA.
So what can a responsible dog owner do to prevent their dog from being a part of this problem? There are several things. First, consider dog obedience training if your dog doesn't respond to your commands. Always keep your dog on a leash when out with you or use dog pens in your backyard. Spay or neuter your dog as they are less likely to bite when spayed or neutered. Never let a child answer the door with a dog loose in the home. Dogs are protective and may see the person at the door as a threat. Spend time with your dog playing and showing affection. Dogs that are well socialized don't tend to bite.
If you encounter a loose dog when you're out and about, don't approach it and don't run past it. Running may make the dog start chasing you. Instead, try to stay motionless until the dog loses interest and leaves. If a dog starts to attack you, put something between you and the dog . . . anything you have whether it's a purse, backpack, bicycle, etc. You can use this to fend off the dog.
A dog attack is very serious, not to mention very scary. Let's all do our part to keep the numbers down.
Debbie Foster is the owner of Pet Beds Unlimited and an avid animal lover. You can find a wide selection of quality pet beds, dog crates , dog carriers , dog pens, cat beds, cat carriers, large dog beds and pet strollers at http://petbedsunlimited.com