According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year.
Before bringing a dog into your household, research the breed you choose. Consult a veterinarian, breeders, animal behaviorists for the best breeds for your household and lifestyle. If you rescue a shelter dog, ask questions about the dog’s personality.
Never leave infants or young children alone with a dog.
Don’t play agressive games with your dog.
Socialize and obedience train your dog.
If your dog develops aggressive or undesirable behaviors, seek professional help.
Follow leash laws.
Keep your dog healthy with regular checkups at the vet.
Spay/neuter your dog.
Your dog should have a fenced in area or a dog run when outside the house. Tying or chaining your dog can contribute to aggressive behavior.
Since children are most at risk for being bitten by dogs the CDC offers these safety tips. Adults also can follow the same tips.
- Do not approach an unfamiliar dog.
- Do not run from a dog or scream.
- Remain motionless when approached by an unfamiliar dog.
- If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and lie still (like a log).
- (for children) Do not play with a dog unless supervised by an adult
- Immediately report stray dogs or dogs displaying unusual behavior to an adult, (adults report to proper authorities).
- Avoid direct eye contact with a dog.
- Do not pet a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first.
- If bitten, immediately report the bite to an adult (for adults, report to proper authorities).
Following these guidelines will help prevent injury to you and your loved ones.