Dog Bite Season: How New Educational Programs Can Keep the Community Safe

by | Jul 2, 2017 | Health Featured

As school lets out for the season and more people are enjoying the warmer temperatures with their canine best friends, it could be a recipe for dog bites. But the dog is not always to blame for their unfriendly behavior. Thanks to some states across the nation, they are offering tips on how to behave and keep the community safe in case you encounter a dog.

Be Alert to the Warning Signs

The safety, wellness and health of the public and animals are primary goals of Animal Care and Control. With their Lake County office receiving less dog bite calls per year, their educational awareness program is proving to be beneficial in protecting both dog and human. Whether a dog got out of its yard and is running loose, broke free of the owner’s leash or it’s been living on the streets without a home, you may encounter an unknown dog for a number of reasons. Dogs are excellent communicators, and you can learn a lot about an animal that you encounter by reading their body language. If a dog is feeling stressed, the animal is more likely to bite and lash out. A sign a dog may be anxious includes a tense body, erect tail, growling, bare teeth and ears pinned back. It’s best to avoid direct eye contact with the dog until they’ve calmed down. Staring them directly in the eye could appear threatening.

Be Careful When Approaching a Stray Dog

With close to 80 million canines across the United States, it’s no wonder over 4 million dog bites happen yearly. If you own a dog, you should be a responsible owner by leashing your dog on walks. If your dog causes harm or an injury to others, you are responsible for the damage that has occurred at the paws of your dog. If you were on the receiving end of the bite, a dog bite attorney has knowledge about the various laws within your state. They can also assist you in receiving compensation for your injuries and medical bills. You can cut your risk for a dog bite by being careful how you approach a dog you may encounter while outside.

Don’t Make Any Sudden Movements

Whether it’s a ball, frisbee, car or person, dogs love to chase things. If you’re looking to avoid a bite with a strange dog, avoid running. Try to slowly move away from the situation, keeping your eye on the canine. Screaming can also irritate or startle the dog. Speak in a calming voice to avoid scaring the animal. Young children should also walk away slowly away and seek assistance with the nearest adult a child can find.

Use a Buffer

If a dog starts to charge you, do everything you can to place a buffer between you, and the dog’s teeth. If you have a jacket, purse or backpack, place the item in front of you. When the dog goes to bite, it will sink its teeth into the object you’re holding and not your skin. If you’re knocked over for any reason, place your coat or jacket on top of you, curl into a ball and shield your face and neck from the animal.

Be Respectful

Even the friendliest dogs can be protective of their belongings and space. While you command respect from your dog, your children should practice good manners when around any pet. If you have friends or family over, keep them away from your dog’s food, toys and chew sticks. Also, make the proper introductions slowly and carefully once your guests arrive to your home. Your children should also ask first before petting or getting near a dog.

Protect Your Dog

Taking your dog out for a walk is excellent exercise for you and your canine friend. But your dog is also vulnerable to other canines, and you need to offer your pet protection. Not all dog owners are responsible, and they may let their dog walk unleashed. If you encounter a dog along your route, stay calm and stand quietly. Hopefully the dog will pass quickly. You can also carry an air horn, whistle or irritant spray that will help get rid of the threatening canine. You can also place your jacket in between the offender and your dog.

Children and senior citizens are in the majority when it comes to becoming victims to dog bites. Although dogs can be at the center of the problem, the above advice can help reduce the incidents and protect your loved ones from becoming part of the dog biting statistics.

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