National Bite Prevention Week

It’s National Dog Bite Prevention Week from May 18-May 24, and communities around the country are promoting safe behavior around dogs in an effort to decrease the number of dog bites nationwide.  Everyone, no matter how canine-savvy they are, could use a reminder on pet safety, so we've complied a short list of bite prevention tips that can help you lower the risk of dog bites in your neighborhood.  Give these a quick read, and remember them the next time you find yourself in a potentially risky situation.

Children are most often the victims of dog bites.  Children don't always “get” doggy signals that they have had enough and need to be left alone.  Because of this, NEVER leave children unattended with dogs, even if the dog is your dog.  Children should be educated on proper interactions with dogs, such as asking permission from a dog’s owner before petting it.  On the flip side of this, don’t let children (or anyone!) pet your dog without permission, even if you know your dog is friendly – everyone needs the practice of asking.  Kids must also be taught NOT to approach strange dogs or try to pet dogs by reaching through fences.

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If you are a dog owner, there are many ways you can lower the chance of your dog biting, the first being to keep your dog on a leash and don’t let it roam at large.  Also make sure not to put your dog in a position where it feels threatened, challenged, or cornered.  Finally, enroll in obedience courses to help your dog learn basic manners and commands.  Check out the amazing Debbie DeSantis' upcoming training course and give her a call at 610-574-1528 or email her at deb@topdogtraining.org to sign up.

Debbie DeSantis

Another aspect of bite prevention that some may not realize is keeping pets healthy.  How your dog feels directly affects how he/she behaves, so make sure that your dog is fully vaccinated, has yearly wellness checks, and is treated when he or she is sick. Check out our low-cost vet care options if your dog needs to get up-to-date.

Finally, some general tips for everyone to use so they can avoid risky situations:

-Report aggressive or dangerous animals in the community

-Always approach and handle injured and/or sick dogs carefully.

-Never disturb a dog that’s caring for puppies, sleeping, playing with a toy, or eating

-The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends staying alert to potential risks in ANY dog: “When you go to someone’s house or to the park, it’s easy to make mistakes and not recognize risk or the signs of a growing problem. People assume all dogs are nice, or assume because a dog is friendly with someone else, it is safe for them to approach and touch. Also, just because you’ve had a positive interaction with a dog before doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to happen that way again. Remain alert to risks in dogs, even those you think you know.”  Check out the AVMA’s website for more information on bite prevention.

Follow these tips and help make your community a safer one for people and pets alike!