According to the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association), more than 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year
. Around 800,000
of those bites require medical attention, with at least half of those being children
. Children are the most common victims of dog bites, with senior citizens coming in second. When children are bit, it is often by a familiar dog during normal activities.
Dog owners should socialize their dogs to all situations and types of people. Dogs should be properly restrained at all times. Check gates carefully when you let your dog outside, and any dog outside your yard should be on a leash. If you know your dog can get overly excited/anxious or may bite, consider walking with a basket muzzle.
All dogs should be kept up to date on their Rabies vaccinations according to local laws and ordinances!
Teach children how to behave around animals. Children should play calmly, without screaming, around animals. Screaming and running will entice the dog to chase. Teach your child never to approach a dog alone. Ask owners if you may pet the dog before attempting to pet a strange dog. If the dog appears to be a stray, teach children to walk calmly away from the dog, never running.
If you are approached by a dog, stand still and allow the dog to sniff you. Do not make eye contact or any sudden movements that may alarm the dog. Children are often taught to 'be a tree' when approached by an unfamiliar dog. If a dog attacks, curl up into a ball and protect your face. Most dogs will leave you alone if they don't perceive you as a threat.
Never leave a child alone with a dog, even the family dog. It takes only a few seconds for the dog to attack for an unknown reason. Children of all ages have been seriously injured, even killed, by the family dog who was perceived to be harmless and trustworthy.
All animal bites should be treated by a professional and reported to the county health department. This is not only for proper treatment of the wound, but also to check the rabies vaccination status of the animal.
Remember, any breed, size, and age of dog can bite. Many breeds are stereotyped as vicious, while others are thought to never bite. Please don't fall for this! There are representatives of every breed who are sweet as pie, and others who are aggressive. The bottom line is that every single dog is capable of biting.
Suburban Animal Clinic is located in West Columbus off I-70 near I-270. Suburban Animal Clinic serves Galloway, Hilltop, West Side, Georgesville, West Jefferson, Grove City, Grandview, Upper Arlington (including OSU Campus area), Hilliard and Dublin.