Puppy See, Puppy Do: Learn the Ins and Outs of Dog Safety
Keep These Tips in Mind During National Dog Bite Prevention Week
It's not just a funny myth – dogs actually attack the mailman.
In observation of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, the U.S. Postal Service has released its annual dog attack city rankings, and it's no joke. In 2015, 6,549 postal employees were attacked by dogs, with Pittsburgh coming in at number 24 in city rankings for the most postal employee dog attacks.
But that's not all. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 4.5 million total dog bites every year.
The third week of May marks the start of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, and it serves as a reminder that the best way to prevent dog bites is education. We all think of our dogs as family, and sometimes it's easy to forget that our faithful companions are animals that can act unpredictably when frightened or threatened.
Our law firm has experienced the devastation caused by dog bites first hand, and has been a longtime supporter of dog bite prevention education as a result. To kick off the week, we're offering the following tips for dog owners and dog lovers alike.
Tips for Owners
- Don't let your dog run loose. Make sure that the dog is kept on a leash or properly enclosed. Be sure to obey all leash laws.
- Train your dog. Proper animal education allows your dog to establish positive patterns of behavior. With a solid background of training, your dog will understand basic commands and have a better sense of right and wrong.
- Socialize your dog with both people and other dogs. Dog parks and doggie daycares are just two ways to do so. The more comfortable your dog is around strangers, the less chance there is that your dog will bite.
- Never leave children unsupervised with a dog, even a trusted family pet.
Tips for Approaching Dogs
- Always ask an owner for permission to pet or approach his or her dog. Don't catch anyone by surprise.
- Always use caution when approaching any dog. This includes a dog you may already be familiar with.
- Carefully supervise your children around dogs. A child might perceive an action as an innocent cuddle, but a dog could perceive it a violation of its space.
- Take extra caution around sick dogs, old dogs, and dogs with puppies. They can be more protective and easily threatened than other dogs.
In addition to these tips, we offer a complete, online Dog Bite Safety Resource Center. There, readers can find more information, including tips for kids, how to read a dog's body language, and more.