“My new dog bit my husband, I can’t have a dog that bites it is going back.”

Madam, there is, I understand, a good market for dogs that bite husbands, don’t send it back!

All joking apart:

  • most dog bites affecting young children occur during everyday activities and while interacting with familiar dogs.
  • senior citizens are the second most common dog bite victims.

Important dog bite prevention tips include:

What’s a dog owner to do?

  • Carefully select your pet. Puppies and dogs should not be obtained on impulse.
  • Gradually expose your puppy or rescued dog to a variety of people and other animals so it feels at ease in these situations; continue this exposure as your dog gets older.
  • Don’t put your dog where it feels threatened or teased.
  • Train your dog. The basic commands “sit,” “stay,” “no,” and “come” help dogs understand what you expect of them.  Incorporate them into fun activities that build a bond of trust between you and your pets.
  • Walk and exercise your dog regularly to keep it healthy and give mental stimulation.
  • Avoid highly excitable games like wrestling or tug-of-war.
  • Use a leash in public to make sure you are able to control your dog.
  • Neuter or spay your dog. These dogs are less likely to bite.
  • Keep your dog healthy. Have your dog vaccinated against rabies and preventable infectious diseases. Parasite control and other health care are important because how your dog feels effects how it behaves.
  • If you have a fenced yard, make sure the gates are secure.

How can you protect your family?

  • Because children are the most common victims of dog bites, parents and caregivers should:
  • Be cautious around strange dogs, and treat your own pet with respect.
  • NEVER leave a baby or small child alone with a dog.
  • Be alert for potentially dangerous situations.
  • Teach children – including toddlers – to be careful around pets.
  • Children must learn not to approach strange dogs or try to pet dogs through fences.
  • Teach children to ask permission from the dog’s owner before petting the dog. Pet a dog gently, avoiding the face and tail.
  • Pick a dog that is good match for your home.
  • Never bother a dog if it is sleeping, eating or caring for puppies.
  • Do not run past a dog.
  • If a dog threatens you, stay calm. Avoid eye contact. Stand still or back away slowly until the dog leaves.

If bitten, request proof of rabies vaccination from the dog owner, get the owner’s name and contact information, and contact the dog’s veterinarian to check vaccination records. Then immediately consult with your doctor. Clean bite wounds with soap and water as soon as possible. If the victim is bleeding from a bite wound, apply pressure with a clean bandage or towel to stop the bleeding before washing, and immediately take the person to a doctor or emergency room.

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