Each year over a million dog bite related injuries are reported that causes physical and emotional effects on the victim. Some are minor physical injuries, but there are also fatal cases which requires medical attention and worst a reconstructive surgical operation. Aside from adults, children are the most prone to dog bites between 2 – 9 years old. It is advisable that children are informed and trained on how to deal with dogs. Here are some preventive ways to reduce dog bites incidents :
1. Be a responsible dog owner. Before bringing a dog at home, know first what type of dog is fit for a household. Some dogs has an aggression history which is not fitted for a household. Have a caution in bringing a dog at home if there is an infant around.
2. Don’t pet a dog immediately. Get acquainted at a distance at first.
3. Do not stare at a dog. Looking at the dog “right in the eye” tends to make him uneasy and provokes to challenge you.
4. Do not make sudden movements. Walk or talk calmly and slowly, do not raise voice as it will gets the dog’s attention.
5. Be motionless if approached by unfamiliar dog outside, do not scream and run from the dog.
6. Do not tease a strange dog. Even if it appears playful, do not assume you can scratch him under the chin which is too close to his mouth.
7. Do not play aggressive games with dogs.
8. Do not touch a dog while he is asleep or unaware. He could wake up in a bad mood like many humans. Same while eating or nursing puppies.
9. Do not kick a dog or challenge him, most dogs are friendly but feels threatened if one seems attacking them.
10. If the dog shows too much aggressiveness or undesirable behaviors, seek for a professional help such as veterinarians and animal behaviorists.
11. If a dog does bite you, immediately ask for help to locate the owner to check if the dog had already been vaccinated against rabies. Go to the nearest clinic for proper vaccination and medication.
12. Initiate a talk with the community to discuss preventive recommendations to reduce dog bites incidents within the community.