Dog Bite Prevention Week is May 20-26 and is designed to bring awareness to the 5 million dog bites that happen per year across the nation. The most common of these victims are children between the ages of 5 and 9. Children are also more likely to have severe injuries. Senior citizens come in second for the most common victims of dog bites. Neighbor dogs contribute to 50% of the dog bites for children under the age of 18 and family dogs are responsible for 30% of the bites.
According to a recent article released, State Farm names the top 10 states for dog bite claims:
- 1. California
- 2. Illinois
- 3. Texas
- 4. Ohio
- 5. Pennsylvania
- 6. Michigan
- 7. Florida
- 8. Indiana
- 9. New York
- 10. Minnesota
There are many things you can do as a pet owner to prevent this from happening, including:
- Train and socialize your pet
- Educate your children on how to approach a dog
- Neuter or Spay your dog
- Do not put your dog in an uncomfortable or unsettling position
- Provide routine exercise
- Vaccinate your dog against rabies
- Avoid games similar to Tug of War
- Buy a leash and make good use out of it
It is also important to know how to protect yourself and your family from other people’s dogs. When approaching strange dogs, be cautious and alert for dangerous situations. Show compassion to dogs in front of your children so they know how to treat them. Do not leave a small child with a dog without supervision. Ask permission from the owner before petting an unfamiliar dog.
We all want to believe that our dogs would never hurt anyone or that our neighbor’s dog is the nicest dog in the community but it is necessary to be aware that any dog can behave unpredictably under certain circumstances. So, what are you going to do to spread the word about Dog Bite Prevention Week?