Home > Animal Welfare Issues, Dog Behavior, Pet Safety > Preventing dog bites before they happen

Preventing dog bites before they happen


best friendsThis week is National Dog Bite Prevention Week (May 17-23).

Every year, more than 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs. By far, children are the most frequent victims of dog bites. They are also the most likely to be severely injured when a dog bites.

I was one of those children. In fact, I was bitten twice, by two different dogs at two different times. In both cases, I was at fault. Of course, each of the dogs bore the blame for the bite. One was euthanized. It’s something I wish I could go back and change, but since I cannot, I focus on spreading the word instead. Children and dogs can be a volatile combination, especially when you have younger children.

There are lots of ways you can keep kids safe, but among them are these:

  1. Don’t let your small child (especially those on the same eye level as a dog) stare a dog in eye – In dog body language this can be seen as a threat and it could well end up in a bite. This is what caused me to be bitten.
  2. Tell children that hugs are for humans, not for dogs – Despite what “your” dog does or does not like, most dogs do not like to be hugged. They also don’t like to be climbed on, stepped on, or crawled over, so when you see a small child doing this, stop him. Remove him or the dog from the situation.
  3. Teach your children to ask before they pet – One should never assume that all dogs like kids. Children need to know that not all dogs can be approached. If they would like to meet a dog, they should ask the owner first. It’s not only polite, but safer for the child and the dog.
  4. Always supervise small children around dogs – Many dogs are unnerved by the jerky and unsteady movements of small children. If your dog is lip licking, his ears are back, he is turning away or trying to get away, or is growling, remove the dog from the room and give him a safe place to go where the child cannot get to him.
  5. Understand every dog has the potential to bite. Yes, even your family dog can bite – Children are most often bitten by the family dog, not a stranger’s dog. Just because you have had your dog since a puppy doesn’t mean he won’t bite. Given the right situation (pain, fear, excitement, etc.) any dog can bite.

This week I will be sharing information (like the great infographic below) on my blog and on my Facebook page to bring attention to National Dog Bite Prevention Week. The goal is two-fold – 1) to keep kids safe from dog bites, and 2) to prevent dogs from being euthanized because of a bite that could have been prevented.

I hope you will share and spread the word. Let’s keep both kids and dogs safe.

National Dog Bite Prevention Week

Dog Bites by the Numbers

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  1. d.heartfarm@verizon.net
    May 18, 2015 at 7:05 AM

     clicked on….up came no posts meet this critiera??????????????????  

    • Mel
      May 18, 2015 at 12:22 PM

      Could it be that you are clicking to it via a blog subscription? If so, my apologies. I hit publish last night without realizing that my draft date had not changed. Thus, it published it as a March submission (which is when I started writing it) and not yesterday’s date. When I changed the date, it likely changed the link. Sorry about that.

  2. May 18, 2015 at 10:29 AM

    Reblogged this on wingsandwildhearts and commented:
    Some helpful advice when mixing dogs with small children.

  3. May 18, 2015 at 10:29 AM

    I had the same outcome. Only when I clicked on ‘Like” did the post show up. Great post by the way. 🙂

    • Mel
      May 18, 2015 at 12:12 PM

      Could it be that you are clicking to it via a blog subscription? If so, my apologies. I hit publish last night without realizing that my draft date had not changed. Thus, it published it as a March submission and not a May one. When I changed the date, it likely changed the link. Sorry about that.

      • May 18, 2015 at 2:19 PM

        No worries, when I clicked on the Like button, all was well. 🙂

      • Mel
        May 19, 2015 at 10:07 PM

        Thank goodness! I was so worried something really got screwed up.

  4. May 18, 2015 at 11:01 AM

    Such a nice post with a great infographic.

    • Mel
      May 18, 2015 at 12:30 PM

      I agree. Thanks to the AVMA for this one.

  5. May 19, 2015 at 3:51 PM

    Just shared this post on FB. Excellent post!

    • Mel
      May 19, 2015 at 9:58 PM

      Thanks for sharing! Glad you liked it. I hope we can get the message out there that dogs are dogs and we beed to respect them as much as we expect them to respect us.

  6. May 20, 2015 at 4:53 PM

    Reblogged this on Combat Yid and Her Service Dog.

  7. d.heartfarm@verizon.net
    May 21, 2015 at 10:50 AM

     clicked

  1. May 18, 2015 at 11:59 AM
  2. May 19, 2015 at 1:33 PM
  3. June 3, 2015 at 10:15 AM

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