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Veterinary experts offer tips and tricks for preventing dog bites
In honor of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, a coalition of veterinarians, animal behavior experts, and more are educating the public on the risks of dog bites and how they can be avoided.
According to an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) release,1 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year nationwide.
Therefore, in light of National Dog Bite Prevention Week (April 10, 2022, to April 16, 2022), the National Dog Bite Prevention Week Coalition—including the AVMA, State Farm, Insurance Information Institute (Triple I), American Humane and Victoria Stilwell Positively—are encouraging the public to understand the dangers of dog bites to people and other pets, and how to prevent them.
"For thousands of years, dogs have been our best friends, providing us with unconditional love, comfort, and protection," expressed Amber Batteiger, disaster and cruelty response specialist for American Humane, in an association release.1
"It is now up to us to be friends to them, as well, by protecting everyone around us – ourselves, our children, and our dogs – from the dangers and consequences of dog bites,” she added.
The coalition will host a Facebook Live event on Monday, April 11, 2022, at 1:30 pm CT on dog bite prevention moderated by Steve Dale, CABC, and a Fetch faculty member. He will share pointers on training to help prevent bites, safely socialize your dog after a period of isolation, and identify warning signs that they may bite. The coalition will also reveal updated dog-related injury claims data and panelists will answer submitted questions during the event.
According to the release,1 a dog may bite for various reasons and all canines are capable of biting when provoked. The National Dog Bite Prevention Coalition provides the following tips to prevent incidents1:
- Don't leave children unsupervised with any dogs.
- Make sure your pet is healthy as dogs are more likely to bite if they are sick or in pain.
- Expose your dogs to new situations slowly and for short periods of time.
- Inform yourself on positive training techniques and dedicate time to interact with your dog.
- Be responsible about approaching other people's pets.
- Ensure you walk your dog on a leash and identify changes in their body language indicating they’re uncomfortable.
- Always monitor your dog's activity because when startled by something, they have the potential to injure someone or get injured themselves.
"While dog bites are a serious public health issue, the good news is that most dog bites are preventable," said José Arce, DVM, AVMA president, in the release.1 "By taking steps to train and properly socialize our dogs, and educate ourselves and loved ones on dog bite prevention, we can help reduce bites and keep dogs in loving homes, where they belong."
For National Dog Bite Prevention Week (April 10-16), experts provide tips to prevent likelihood of bites. News release. American Veterinary Medical Association. April 7, 2022. Accessed April 7, 2022. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/for-national-dog-bite-prevention-week-april-10-16-experts-provide-tips-to-prevent-likelihood-of-bites-301520005.html