how common are dog bites?
According to the Centre for Disease Control, each year in the United States there are more than 4 million dog bites. More than 800,000 of these require medical care.
Dogs are the third most popular pets in the United States and over 35% of households own at least one of them. There are many benefits to owning a dog.
Related Article: Health Benefits of Owing A Dog
Being bitten by a dog is a scary thought and if you are around dogs you should understand the risk and take some precautions.
Everyone can take a part in preventing dog bites. This includes dog owners and also other people who interact with dogs.
Unfortunately, children are more likely to be bitten than adults. Men are more likely to be bitten than women. Most dog bites occur in the home and are from the family pet. So, having a dog in the home increases the chance of a family member being bitten
preventing Dog Bites At Home
The first rule is never leave children unsupervised with a dog. And never let them approach an unknown dog and pet it without checking with the owner first.
Children have often not learned how to approach a dog. They will frequently not recognize signals that he is becoming uncomfortable and likely to bite.
If you are a dog owner there are guidelines you and your family should follow when interacting with the dog.
Don’t disturb or touch your dog when it is asleep. If the dog is eating don’t touch the food or try to take the food away from him. If a female dog has puppies be wary about approaching her or picking up puppies. These guidelines apply to all family members especially children.
Don’t teach your dog to play aggressively. What starts out as a rough game can end in trouble.
Preventing Dog Bites from Unfamiliar Dogs.
Most people would not approach a strange dog. However, on occasion an unknown dog will approach you. If the dog is not acting aggressively, you should not touch it without letting it sniff your first.
If the dog approaches you in a more aggressive manner you should stay still. Do not panic and do not run away. Avoid direct eye contact with the dog and turn to a side on position. Slowly raise your hands to cover your neck and wait for the dog to move away.
If the dog is about to attack you try to put a bag or some other object between you and it. Should you get knocked over, roll into a ball with your hands covering your neck and ears.
If you get bitten
Wash the would with soap and water. If it is minor, apply an antiseptic cream and cover the area with a bandage. See your doctor if the area becomes red or painful.
For a more serious wound, you should apply pressure to stop the bleeding and go to a hospital or doctor. Call an ambulance if you are unable to transport yourself.
Whether the injury is minor or serious, you should consider the possibility that the dog has rabies. If the dog’s owner is present, they may be able to tell you whether the dog has had a rabies shot. (If you get bitten by your own dog, you would have this information). If you have any concern, you should discuss the situation with a medical practitioner.