National Dog Bite Prevention Month takes place during April each year. Central Bark has some dog bite prevention tips to make sure you’re safe. There is an estimated population of nearly 85 million dogs living in U.S. households. This was following a surge of adoptions during the pandemic. Millions of people—most of them children—are bitten by dogs every year.
Dog Bite Statistics
In fact, more than 4.5 million people are reported to have been bitten by dogs each year in the United States. More than 800,000 receive medical attention for dog bites, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. In 2021 alone, the insurance industry paid out $882 million in liability claims for dog bites and other dog-related injuries according to the Insurance Information Institute. Most of these bites, if not all, are preventable with proper information, tips, and techniques.
There were a lot of dog adoptions over the last few years following the pandemic. One of our biggest concerns at Central Bark is making sure that dogs are prepared to safely socialize and interact with children and people outside of their home. Isolation and a lack of socialization can lead to negative behaviors in our pets. If we take the proper steps to socialize our dogs and educate our community on dog bite prevention, we can help reduce dog bites across the country. This will keep dogs in loving homes, where they belong.
According to US dog bite statistics, an un-neutered male dog is more than 2.5 times likely to bite than a neutered one. It’s estimated there was a 300% increase in dog attacks during the height of the pandemic.
Dog Bite Prevention Tips
To help dogs minimize their chances of biting, Central Bark also recommends the following:
- Dogs are more likely to bite if they are sick or in pain. If you haven’t been to the veterinarian in a while, now is the time. Schedule that visit to discuss your dog’s physical and behavioral health.
- Don’t rush out to the local dog park for hours of play if your dog has not been regularly interacting with other dogs. Take it slow. Try to expose your dog to new situations slowly and for short periods of time. Remember to reward positive behavior.
- Educate yourself. Do some research on positive reinforcement, training techniques and dedicate time to your dog.
- Get your dog outside on a leash and go for a walk. It’s good for you. It’s good for your dog. And the socialization that occurs will only help your dog’s behavior in the long run.
- Be responsible about approaching other people’s dogs. Ask for permission and look for signs that the dog wants to interact. Just like humans, sometimes dogs also want to be left alone.
- Consider enrichment doggy day care or other forms of socialization. Training allows dogs to become the best versions of themselves.
- Responsible ownership should also include spaying and neutering your dogs.
Dog Bite Prevention Tips Conclusion
So, what does all this mean? It tells us a great many things, but first and foremost, this is a completely preventable problem that begins with responsible pet ownership, awareness, training, and education. Every year, Central Bark works with local schools and organizations to bring awareness to this issue while providing guidance and instruction on how to prevent dog bites and save dogs. Our customizable program is designed to educate children and keep them safe around dogs. We teach them when, and how, to approach a dog, what to look for in dog behavior, to “ask permission,” and to be mindful and respectful because dogs are animals with teeth, and any animal with teeth will bite under the right circumstances.
It’s important to remember that even well-trained and well-behaved dogs can bite if they are put into the wrong situation. Addressing and avoiding these situations is key to reducing dog bites, and not focusing on unrelated factors such as a dog’s breed or appearance.
For more tips on preventing dog bites or to schedule a bite prevention seminar, visit centralbarkusa.com.