Dog bite prevention
Many of the victims are children, and the majority of these bites do not come from aggressive dogs. Any dog can bite, especially scared or startled dogs.
Who is most at risk for dog bites?
Children are the most at risk for dog bites. The rate of dog-bite–related injuries is highest in children 5 to 9 years old. Children are more likely than adults to receive medical attention for dog bites. Senior citizens are the second most common dog bite victims.
Where do dog bites happen?
Over half of dog-bite injuries occur at home with dogs that are familiar. The likelihood of a dog bite increases if there is a dog in the home. As the number of dogs in the home increases, so do the odds of a dog bite.
Did you know....
Approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the United States.
Preventing dog bites
Basic safety tips
- Remain motionless ("be still like a tree") when approached by an unfamiliar dog. Stay still and be calm
- Avoid direct eye contact with unfamiliar dogs
- Wait for the dog to pass
- If a dog knocks you over, curl into a ball with your head tucked and your hands over your ears and neck
- If you are a child, immediately let an adult know about stray dogs or dogs that are behaving strangely
- Approach an unfamiliar dog
- Run from a dog
- Panic or make loud noises
- Disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies
- Pet a dog before asking its owner if it is okay
- Pet a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first
- Encourage your dog to play aggressively
- Let small children play with a dog unsupervised