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Dog Bite Prevention Tips

Did you know that there are about 4.5 million dog bites reported annually in the US? That certainly sound like a lot, but given that there are about 78 million pet dogs here in America, the odds of being bitten by a dog are actually pretty low. However, it’s still important to know some of the indications and causes of dog bites. In this article, a Wake Forest, NC vet discusses preventing dog bites.

Warning Signs

Although you may often hear that a dog ‘bit without warning,’ in truth, dogs usually give some clear signals before biting. Dogs that are acting aggressive may try to make themselves look larger. Their fur may stand up, and their ears may point upwards. They may also stand stiffly, and could growl, bark, or lunge. Dogs also bite out of fear, which has different signs. A dog that is feeling frightened or defensive may crouch, lower his head, lick his lips, or put his tail between his legs. He may also try to retreat or escape. Keep in mind that sometimes dogs move quickly from fear to aggression, and vice versa, so the signs can be mixed. If you do find yourself facing an aggressive dog, avoid making eye contact.

Kids

Unfortunately, many dog bite victims are children. This is because it’s very easy for little ones to unintentionally annoy or frighten dogs. Teach your youngsters to stay away from strange dogs, especially those that are growling, barking, and/or off-leash. Children should also be taught not to pet or play with nursing mamas, or dogs that are eating, chewing, or sleeping.

Prevention

As the old saying says, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Responsible dog ownership will really reduce the odds of Fido biting. First and foremost, spay or neuter your pooch as soon as you can. If you adopt a puppy, take time to properly socialize the little guy. Training is another must. If you have a yard, make sure that your fences are secure. Also, keep Fido leashed whenever you take him off your property. Last but not least, make sure that your pet is happy, healthy, and comfortable. Offer your canine pal lots of TLC and attention, and spend time with him every day.

Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your Wake Forest, NC pet hospital, today!

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