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Dog bite statistics and prevention techniques

Millions of people across the state of California and the country are bit by dogs every year. The actual number of dog-bite victims in the U. S. is estimated to be much higher than current statistics suggest, and there is also evidence that young children are especially vulnerable to being involved in an animal attack. That is why it is so important that parents, dog owners and homeowners understand the risks associated with having dogs, as well as measures that can be taken to prevent dangerous encounters between people and animals.

Despite the fact that a great deal of attention is often placed on supposedly aggressive breeds of dogs by the public and media sources, the American Veterinary Medical Association explains that doing so hinders dog attack awareness and prevention efforts. Small dogs are just as prone to biting as larger breeds, and dog bite statistics are inaccurate at best. Fortunately, however, there are a number of practical steps that people can take to protect their families and pets from being involved in an attack. 

Of the over 4 million people that are confirmed to sustain dog bites each year in the country, the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that around 50 percent of victims are children. Beyond that, kids between the ages of five and nine years old have the highest dog bite incident rates of all minors. Taking the time to educate children about how to engage with their own dogs, as well as those belonging to other people, can be incredibly helpful to promote safety and prevent dog bite injuries from occurring. In addition to always being supervised by an adult while in the presence of a dog, kids should also:

  • Avoid yelling and/or running from a dog
  • Allow a dog to sniff and/or see them before attempting to touch it
  • Not engage with dogs that are eating, sleeping or otherwise distracted

Of course, adults can benefit from taking the same precautions when in the presence of dogs. Dog owners can also promote positive encounters between their pets and people by being aware of their surroundings and properly monitoring all interactions.

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