Thursday, May 17, 2012

National Dog Bite Prevention Week. May 20-26, 2012.

Next week is National Dog Bite Prevention Week. Are you celebrating? Well, maybe it's not really the sort of holiday you "celebrate."  Rather, are you doing anything to bring awareness to the prevention of dog bites?

We've never conciously participated in sharing information or educating people on dog bite prevention. With the breeds of dogs we have, though, I feel as if we have an obligation to get the word out there...for every dog that bites, it's just another opportunity for someone to blame it on the breed...

Suvi learned quickly how to prevent dog bites. JUST KIDDING - they're just playing :)

Let's start preventing dog bites, by educating the public, and owners. Here are some facts, and awesome links to information you can share to help spread the word!

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association...

- 4.7 million people in this country are bitten by dogs every year.
- 800,000 Americans receive medical attention for dog bites each year.
- Children are by far the most common victims; approximately 400,000 receive medical attention every year.
- 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.
- State Farm Insurance paid out more than $109 million last year on dog bite claims.

There are a number of things that you can do to avoid dog bites, ranging from properly training and socializing your pet to educating your children on how, or if, they should approach a dog. Information is one of the best cures for this public health crisis.
For more information and resources, visit

What can WE do??

  1. Join the AVMA's Facebook event, and share it with your friends.  Help spread the awareness of the need for education, and information, with everyone you know! Many bites could be prevented if people were aware of the signs leading up to a bite.
  2. Watch and share this video, created by the Humane Society of the United States, in partnership with Chicago Public School students, about proper dog care and how to prevent dog bites:
  3. Be a responsible dog owner!
    • Carefully select your pet. Puppies should not be obtained on impulse.
    • Make sure your pet is socialized as a young puppy so it feels at ease around people and other animals.
    • Don't put your dog in a position where it feels threatened or teased.
    • Train your dog. The basic commands "sit," "stay," "no," and "come" help dogs understand what is expected of them and can be incorporated into fun activities that build a bond of trust between pets and people.
    • Walk and execrcise your dog regularly to keep it healthy and provide mental stimulation.
    • Avoid highly excitable games like wrestling or tug-of-war, if you or others aren't aware of the signals your dog uses to show they're had enough. 
    • Use a leash in public to ensure you are able to control your dog.
    • Keep your dog healthy. Have your dog vaccinated against rabies and preventable infectious diseases. Parasite control and other health care are important because how your dog feels affects how it behaves.
    • Neuter your pet. This can help control aggressive tendencies (as well as overpopulation)!
    • If you have a fenced yard, make sure the gates are secure.
  4. Teach your children, or children who will interact with your dog, how to properly behave around dogs.
    Don't disturb Pablo while he's eating Ramsey's bone. 
    • Always ask permission from the dog's owner to pet him or her.
    • Don't look an unfamiliar dog straight in the eye, or hold eye contact for a long period. If a dog knocks you down, curl up into a ball and cover your face. Stay still.
    • Don't run or scream around strange dogs.
    • Don't disturb dogs that are sleeping or eating, and never tease them.
    • Ask your children to always notify an adult of any stray dogs they see.

Additional Resources from the AVMA:

  • Listen to the podcast 
  • Listen to Victoria Stilwell's dog bite prevention tips 
  • Listen to the Radio News Release (RNR) 
  • Watch the video 

  • Illustration purposes only. No Suvis or Ramseys were harmed during this photo shoot.

    What else would you add to the list?  What other tips do you have for helping parents educate their children? How can we help to further prevent dog bites in the Senior Citizen age group? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and I'll update the post with your suggestions!


    1. Victoria Stilwell? You lost all credibility with me as a dog owner...that woman is a terrible trainer.

      1. I get it. However, the entire point of the post, and the AVMA's resources, is to raise awareness. Her message in this particular case is solid, and whether you respect her or not, she has a large viewer base that will benefit from and share this message from others. Disregard how you feel about her training abilities, understand that whether you like it or not, others will listen to her because she's "famous," and WILL learn something in this particular instance. Thanks for sharing your incredibly constructive thoughts, and allowing me to respond.

    2. Thanks for the post and information! Also, who care what the poster above thinks, you guys are doing great things for breed awareness. Keep up the good work.

      P.S. You're obviously incredible dog owners with healthy well cared for and happy pets.

      Not Anonymous, my name is Robin. :)

      1. Thanks, Robin! Always appreciate the comments and support!

    3. I also will be celebrating! (though I'm not sure what kind of cookie theme would fit....not that I ever get around to making cookies anyway)

      1. Haha. Well, I'm pretty sure that peanut butter cookies are a favorite in our house... ;)