There are millions of nice dogs out there, but at any given time any one of them can bite. It is estimated that over 4 million people are bitten by dogs yearly, and at least half of that number are children.
Here are the facts:
- Almost 1 in 5 people bitten by dogs require medical attention.
- Children are by far the most common victims of dog bites and are far more likely to be severely injured.
- Most dog bites affecting young children occur during everyday activities and while interacting with familiar dogs.
- Senior citizens are the second most common dog bite victims.
Dog bites can happen for many reasons, but most often they are a reaction to something. A dog may bite to defend itself or its territory, a dog may bite when scared or threatened, or because they aren’t feeling well and want to be left alone. The key is to avoid risky situations such as:
-If the dog is not with its owner
-If the dog is with its owner but the owner does not give permission to pet the dog
-If a dog is sleeping or eating
-If a dog is sick or injured
-If a dog is resting with her puppies or seems very protective of her puppies and anxious about your presence
-If a dog is playing with a toy
-If a dog is growling or barking
-If a dog appears to be hiding or seeking time alone
Pay attention to a dog’s body language – most will give warning signs before the bite. Always better to be safe than sorry!