Posted by: H.M.
For Pets Best Insurance
One of the most recent cases of a dog bite to make the national and international news didn’t involve a breed with a bad reputation or considered “vicious.”
An elderly woman was charged and ordered to pay a fine, according to the Toronto Sun, after her Shih Tzu bit a woman’s nose at a Home Depot store. The Home Depot employee will need multiple surgeries to repair her nose, and she wants the dog euthanized.
This issue goes to show that any dog can bite at any time. The terrible situation possibly could have been prevented with some knowledge and care on both sides. That is the point of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, May 15-22. In order to be successful, dog bite prevention tips need to be recognized by dog owners as well as the general public.
When Good Dogs Bite
Any dog can bite and cause injury out of fear or surprise. As much as we love them, dogs bite more than 4 million people in the United States every year, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Most of those bites are from familiar rather than strange dogs. Responsible pet ownership, supervision, and educating children on how to treat their pets are all important aspects of preventing dog bites.
• Dogs should be adopted with care, not on impulse. Breed selection tools such as the one at selectsmart.com/dog/ can help determine the best fit for a home’s family members and energy level. All family members should meet a dog prior to the dog being adopted.
• Just as a dog should never be left alone with easily accessible food, a dog should never be left in a room with a baby or small child, not even for a minute.
• Pet insurance coverage ensures responsible pet ownership by allowing dogs to be cost-effectively spayed and neutered, thereby decreasing a dog’s aggressive tendencies. Pet health insurance often covers regular vaccines and helps pet owners keep track of Rabies shot schedules by way of regular vet visits.
• Training, socialization, exercise, and obeying local leash laws are all basic dog owner responsibilities that help with pet safety.
When Strange Dogs Bite
Doggone Safe is a non-profit organization dedicated to dog bite prevention through education and dog bite victim support. The organization runs be-a-tree.com, a website and educational program that teaches dog bite prevention tips and dog body language reading skills.
Be A Tree presenters are available nationwide to teach the program to school-age children. The program teaches with fun rather than fear that becoming a “tree”—standing perfectly still—when approached by a strange dog is the best way to keep from being bitten.