Once again I missed National Dog Bite Prevention Week. It's the third full week of May and it's already the end of the first week of June. I don't think it ever hurts to review this information as more than 4.7 million people a year receive bites from man/woman’s best friend and I dearly love my dogs -- deceased ones (Columbo, Ladybug (photo), and Girlfriend) and the living one, Rusty.
Many cities and towns across America are beginning to restrict by out-right ban or by registration of certain breeds. In Little Rock, a new city ordinance requiring all pit bulls in the city to be registered, sterilized, and microchipped took effect. This ordinance was passed because of an increase in attacks which are said to be unprovoked.
The following is a re-posting of my Dog Bite Prevention post from last June. Maybe next year I'll get one published on during the third week of May.
Each year, nearly 1 million Americans seek medical attention for dog bites; half of these are children. Most dog bite-related injuries occur in children 5-9 years of age. Almost two thirds of injuries among children 4 yrs or younger are to the head or neck region. Dog bites are a largely preventable public health problem, and adults and children can learn to reduce their chances of being bitten.
Basic safety around dogs:
• Do not approach an unfamiliar dog.
• Do not run from a dog and scream.
• Remain motionless (“be still like a tree”) when approached by an unfamiliar dog.
• If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and lie still (“be still like a log”).
• A child should not play with a dog unless supervised by an adult.
• A child should immediately report stray dogs or dogs displaying unusual behavior to an adult.
• Avoid direct eye contact with a dog.
• Do not disturb a dog who is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
• Do not a pet a dog without asking permission from its owner first.
• Do not pet a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first.
Things to consider before adding a dog to your household:
• Learn about suitable breeds of dogs for your household.
• Dogs with histories of aggression are inappropriate in households with children.
• If your child is fearful or apprehensive around dogs, then don’t get one. it will not make the child less fearful.
• Spend time with a dog before buying or adopting it. Use caution when bringing a dog into the home of an infant or toddler.
• Spay/neuter virtually all dogs (this frequently reduces aggressive tendencies).
• Never leave infants or young children alone with any dog.
• Do not play aggressive games with your dog (e.g. wrestling).
• Properly socialize and train any dog entering the household. Teach the dog submissive behaviors (e.g. rolling over to expose abdomen and relinquishing food without growling.
• Immediately seek professional advice (e.g. from veterinarians or animal trainers) if the dog develops aggressive or undesirable behaviors.