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Dog Bite Awareness
Here are a few sobering statistics when it comes to dog bites:
- Each year 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs, children making up the largest majority of victims
- 800,000 Americans receive medical attention for dog bites each year
- Half of all children will be bitten by a dog by the time they’re high school seniors
- Senior citizens are the second most common dog bite victims
Every year the third week of May is dedicated to Dog Bite Awareness, an initiative spearheaded by the U.S. Postal Service and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), as well as other national and local organizations. Each year, the goal is to increase awareness about the best ways to help prevent dog bites. Here a few suggestions provided by the AVMA:
- Carefully select your pet. Puppies should not be obtained on impulse.
- Don’t put your dog in a position where it feels threatened or teased.
- Train your dog. The basic commands “sit,” “stay,” “no,” and “come” help dogs understand what is expected of them.
- Walk and exercise your dog regularly to keep it healthy and provide mental stimulation.
- Avoid highly excitable games like wrestling or tug-of-war.
- Neuter your pet.
With all the precautions that you can take to help keep your dog from biting, there’s unfortunately no way to guarantee that it will never happen. The reality is that every dog owner is exposed to potential liability for dog bites and other canine-inflicted injuries. With that liability comes the risk of tremendous personal loss if you don’t have an insurance policy that covers the proper liability coverage.