Dogs have long been touted as man’s best friend and are welcomed into many homes for companionship and service. However, a bite by a dog can happen to anyone at any time and may result in a serious injury. National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which takes place this year from May 19 – 25, is an annual event that aims to promote education and awareness of this serious issue.
Statistics on Dog Bites
Each year, more than 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs. Children are the most common victims of bites, followed by the elderly and postal delivery people. More than 800,000 people require medical treatment for the dog bites they receive.
Additionally, about 400,000 children require treatment each year after getting bitten by a dog. Statistically, a child’s injuries from a bite are more likely to be serious than an adult’s injuries.
8 Tips for Dog Bite Prevention
For pet lovers:
- Be cautious around strange or unleashed dogs.
- Because children are the most commonly affected by bites from dogs, never leave a baby or young child unsupervised even around a trusted family pet.
- Teach all kids to ask a pet’s owner before petting or feeding the animal.
- Explain to children not to reach through fences or cages to pet a dog.
- Always be alert to potentially dangerous situations involving dogs, whether it is a stray or a pet.
For pet owners:
- Train the dog with basic commands including “sit” and “no.”
- Do not tease the dog or put the dog in a situation where he or she needs to defend him or herself.
- Socialize the dog so that he or she feels at ease with people of all ages. Vaccinate and neuter the dog.
Many communities have animal bite laws that protect the victims of these circumstances and hold the dog’s owner responsible. At Joe Knows Law, Attorney Joe Lucé offers counsel for those who have experienced a serious dog bite and need help paying for their hospital and medical bills.