Up dated 05-21-16
The Associated Press wrote that in 2011 there were over 4.7 million reported dog bites in the United States and a majority of the bite victims were children.
The United States Postal Service reported 5,600 mail carriers were bitten last year with costs over a million dollars for medical treatment.
Each year the USPS sets up for their annual dog bite prevention program, where the service’s goal is to help reduce the number of attacks on Americans.
Here are some anti-bite tips regarding dogs:
Remember that dogs are descendants of wild animals. They still have those instincts. Many times I have heard the words ” my dog has never done that before”, or my dog “is normally gentle and has never bitten anyone before”.
If you were jogging, walking, or riding a bicycle, would you run by a wild wolf? Domesticated dogs still have the instinct to chase and catch prey. If you see a loose dog, stop, turn and walk away slowly until the dog is out of sight.
If the dog threatens you, don’t scream. This shows weakness. Avoid eye contact as this can show aggression or a challenge to the dog. Try to remain motionless until the dog leaves and then go the opposite direction slowly.
Don’t approach dogs that are fenced in or tied up.
One of the most dangerous dog situations, is where you find dogs grouped in packs. Don’t walk by a pack of dogs, even if they appear friendly.
If a dog attacks, try to place something between you and the dog, like a bicycle, chair, or rake.
Use your pepper spray dog repellent. Our EPA approved Mace® Muzzle provides safe, effective and humane protection against dog attack. Ideal protection for walkers, joggers, cyclists or delivery people.
The US Postal Service has these requests for dog owners:
When a mail carrier comes to your home, please keep your dog inside the home and in a room away from the front door. Dogs want to protect their master and will escape through a door if possible.
Please don’t send your children to a mail carrier to pick up your mail if you have a dog present, because the dog may see the mail carrier as a threat to the child. Again they will protect the family.
Other dog owner tips include:
Use a leash when walking your dog. Remember there are those instincts that can take over, no matter the size or breed of the dog.
Don’t place your dog where it may feel threatened or teased. A large percentage of child dog bites are from family dogs known to the child.
Never leave a baby or small child alone with a dog.
Be alert for potentially dangerous situations that arise with your dog.
Teach children to be careful around pets; not to approach strange dogs, or try to pet dogs through fences.
Train and know your dog. Teach the dog basic commands including sit, stay, no, and come. Check with your local jurisdiction for obedience classes.
Make sure your dog has up to date shots and that there is a way to identify your dog if found loose. It may mean the difference for a child to have to go through Rabies shots.
It doesn’t take a bite to cause Rabies. A little girl in our area contracted Rabies from a paw scratch. She miraculously survived but it will takes months for her to rehabilitate.
Enjoy your dog and be safe out there.