They say a dog's bark is worse than his bite, but most of us would rather not find out. According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year, with 880,000 requiring emergency medical treatment. In fact, more than 30,000 victims of dog bites undergo reconstructive surgery each year, and 15-20 people die from dog bites yearly.
Who Is At Risk?
With more than 70 million dogs in the U.S. and multi-dog households, it's important to do everything you can to safeguard your loved ones. Children between the ages of 5 - 9 are the most vulnerable, and men are more frequent victims than women (who are bitten by cats more often). Children under 4 are often bitten on the face, head and neck, mainly because they are about the same height as a dog.
Safety Tips for Parents
- Never leave a young child or baby alone with any dog.
- Never allow your young child to discipline a dog.
- Never allow your child to feed or walk a dog unsupervised.
- Never allow your child to approach an unfamiliar dog.
- Never allow your child to pull on a dog's collar, ears or tail.
- Never allow any child to play aggressive games (like wrestling with any dog).
- Never allow your child to pet a dog that is in someone else' car or truck.
When To See A Doctor If you or your child has been bitten, try and find out from the owner if the dog is up-to-date on his rabies shots or rabies treatment plus a tetanus shot may need to be given. If the dog causes a laceration, puncture or tear to the skin, or pain near the dog bite, it is best to see your doctor. Dog bites can often cause infections because bacteria can seep deep into your tissue. Exposure to a rabid animal does not always result in rabies. If treatment is initiated promptly following a rabies exposure, rabies can be prevented.
If your dog has a tendency to bite or is aggressive, contact your Bark Busters trainer. We can help you overcome this problem behavior and hopefully prevent injuries in the future. For more information about dog bites, visit our Bark Busters website.