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Dog and owner

All Bark, No Bite

Why training and education can help reduce dog bite chances

Did you know that there are about 70 million dogs currently living in U.S. households? Within that 70 million, there are roughly 4.5 million dog bites that take place every year with many of those victims being children. Most of those dog bites are preventable through proper training and socialization of your dog, as well as educating children and individuals on how to approach a dog. Any dog can bite so the more you know and do, the better prepared you will be.

Here are some tips from Hillsborough County's Pet Resource Center on dog bite prevention:

  • Never leave children unsupervised with a dog.
  • Any dog can bite.
  • Spay and neuter your dog to deter roaming and aggressive behaviors.
  • Take your dog to the veterinarian annually for check-ups, vaccinations and tags.
  • Do train, but don't chain, your dog.
  • Make your dog a party animal. Socialize your pet to be comfortable with people.
  • Dogs are territorial, so don't allow yours to wander the neighborhood.
  • Avoid playing teasing games, like tug-of-war, since your dog may not know its own strength.
  • Never bother a dog when it is eating, sleeping, nursing babies or even having a treat.
  • If confronted by an aggressive dog, avoid direct eye contact or sudden moves, including running away.
  • Teach children to avoid strays and to ask permission before petting other people's dogs.

Want to learn more on dog bite prevention? Visit the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) for additional tips and information.