Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe announces National Dog Bite Prevention Week
Each year, it is estimated that dogs will bite nearly 5 million Americans, and the primary victims are children.
The American Veterinary Medical Association has announced a national effort to observe National Dog Bite Prevention Week from May 17-23. During this week, the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe will raise awareness about training pets and their owners on how to prevent dog bites.
“It is important for pet owners to be aware of dog bite incidences because even the cuddliest, fuzziest, sweetest pup can bite if provoked,” said Nanette Cronk, Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe animal programs manager. “People can practice a few simple safety steps that will reduce the risks of their pet biting or being bitten.”
The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends the following tips to prevent dog bites:
Carefully consider your pet selection. Consult your veterinarian.
Socialize your dog so it feels at ease around strangers and other animals.
Train your dog to respond to the basic commands.
Keep your dog healthy. Have your dog vaccinated against rabies.
Neuter your dog. Neutered dogs are three times less likely to bite.
Be alert to signs your dog is uncomfortable or feeling aggressive.
Never leave a baby or small child alone with a dog, and teach young children to be careful around pets.
If a dog threatens you, remain calm, avoid eye contact and back away slowly until the dog is out of sight.
“One common mistake is to approach a scared dog,” Cronk said. “If the dog has nowhere to escape and perceives the situation as threatening, it may feel its only option is to bite. Any dog that’s growling, has its tail tucked, or is holding its body low to the ground is showing that its afraid. In this situation, people should stay calm and slowly back away from the scared dog.”
Each year, approximately 800,000 dog bite victims in the United States require medical attention, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. It is estimated that a dozen people die each year from dog bite injuries.
“From nips to bites to actual attacks, dog bites are a serious problem,” said Stephanie Hiemstra, executive director of HSTT. “All pet owners should know that dog bites can result in criminal and civil liability for pet owners themselves, so it is important to take the necessary steps to help prevent these incidences.”
For more information about preventing dog bites, visit http://www.avma.org.
The Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe is dedicated to saving and improving the lives of pets through adoptions, community spay/neuter services and humane education programs in the Truckee and North Tahoe area. To meet adoptable dogs, go to HSTT’s Adoption Day, every Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. at the Town of Truckee Animal Kennel, or call (530) 581-3199 to schedule an appointment. To learn more about HSTT or dog bite prevention, call (530) 587-5948 or visit http://www.hstt.org.
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