We know that Best Bully Stick’s customers and readers have the sweetest, cuddliest dogs on the planet, however, we don’t want to skirt around a serious topic either. Any dog has the propensity to bite in certain situations but Best Bully Sticks wants to educate all our customers and readers on how to lower those chances. 

May 20-26, 2012 is International Dog Bite Prevention Week and was established to help all dog owners and the public know the facts about and guard against dog bites. The American Veterinary Medical Association has released some statistics that might be surprising.

  • Over 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year
  • 800,000 of those people received medical attention
  • Children are more likely to be severely injured & 400,000 receive medical treatment each year
  • Most children bitten are interacting with familiar dogs or during everyday activities
     

There have been a lot of tragedies that are hard to ignore, but most of these situations are easily preventable. Here are a few tips to protect and prevent against dog bites.

1. Recognizing Canine Body Language. It may be easy to forget that dogs are communicating with us at all time, but it’s all in their body language. Here is a handy canine body language chart courtesy of http://www.dfdk9.com/. Recognizing the warning signs is the first step in preventing something horrendous from happening.

2. DO NOT EVER leave a small child alone with a dog. While it’s very probable that nothing will happen when you walk away, it’s better just to not leave your baby alone in a room with a dog.

3. Teach Children How To Treat Dogs. We all know kids usually don’t listen well, so make sure to consistently repeat to children how to treat, handle and act around a dog.  The video below outlines some great guidelines for teaching your children with the W.A.I.T acronym. Here are some great coloring sheets that are a fun way for your kids to begin learning about dog safety courtesy of Chris Crawford. 

 

There are also some very easy steps to lessen the probability of your own dog biting. 

  • Make sure your dog is very well socialized with other animals, people and small children.
  • Don’t put your dog in a situation where he feels threatened or teased. 
  • Train your dog. Your dog understanding the commands, “sit” “stay” “come” and “no” are highly important to your bond with your dog. This will help your dog know what is expected out of him. 
  • Make sure your dog gets plenty or exercise and mental stimulation and use a leash in public.
  • Keep your dog healthy and up-to-date on all shots, including the rabies vaccination. 
  • Spay or neuter your dog.
  • If you have a fenced in back yard, make sure it is properly secured.
     

Again, Best Bully Sticks hopes you, your family or your dog never have to deal with this topic, but to help this issue we feel it is the duty of all dog owners to be prepared. Learn more about Dog Bite Prevention Week at AVMA.org.