How to Keep Your Family Safe From Dog Bites
Our country is home to more than 78 million pet dogs. It is important to keep in mind that dog ownership isn’t all fetch and fun. In fact, dog bites are a leading cause of hospital visits, topping the charts at more than 4.5. million dog bite incidents every year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention almost one million of these bites involve young children. Children are the most common victims of dog bites.
If you are a dog owner it is important to teach family members how to properly play with these furry friends and to take your dog to obedience training. Games such as fetch are safe, but games like tug of war or rough housing may provoke aggression in pets and lead to biting.
Dog bites account for a large percentage of homeowners insurance claims. Animal Liability is excluded under most policies, however, a stand alone pet liability policy is available.
In fact over 1 third of all liability claims in the year 2012 were dog bite related. Over 30,000 people Americans underwent reconstructive surgery as a result of dog bites.
What to tell your child to do when a dog approaches them?
- Stand very still
- Avoid making direct eye contact
- Don’r run away and scream
- In the event that you fall or are knocked down, act like a log
- Once the dog realizes you are not a threat it will most likely walk away
- If a dog bites you immediately tell an adult
The Humane Society of the United States dog bite facts:
- 8 percent of dog bites involving adults are work-related, inflicted on workers such as meter readers, and home repair contractors
- 75 percent of fatal bites are inflicted on family members or guests
- 80 percent of dog-bite incidents that involve children are inflicted by a family dog or a neighbors’ dog
A dog is in most cases a wonderful and welcoming addition to a family, but it can be a problem without proper preparation. Always tell your children how they should act around dogs and remember that dogs can often feel threatened in new surroundings or around strangers.