By Karla Sullivan
During the third week of May 18th-24th, we celebrate teaching people about preventing dog bites. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 70 million dogs live in US and more than 4.5 million people have been bitten by dogs. Besides children, senior citizens are the second most common dog bite victims.
If bit by your own dog, your want to consult with your vet concerning any action that may be aggressive or unusual for your pet. Make sure your vaccination records are up to date. Sometimes a dog may bite because of illness.
If you are bit by a strange dog, seek medical attention right away. Also make sure you report the incident to local authorities so that animal control officers can investigate. You also want to talk to your doctor especially in the event that the animal could have a disease. Rabies can be deadly caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system.
• Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water
• Call your physician. If necessary, the doctor may give you the post-exposure treatment recommended by the United States Public Health Service.
Teaching your dog not to bite
When your puppy bites you, yelp in a high-pitched voice. If the puppy bites again, yelp louder and jump as if you are really hurt. Keep doing this every time. If these methods do not work, after yelping you may have to put your hand over the mouth and say “no bite” very firmly, especially if the dog is older. Try walking away if the dog bites you and then after a few minutes, approach the dog again. Praise him if he does not bite. Always reward the animal for following your direction.
How to avoid a dog bite
The Humane Society suggests that you never surprise a dog, even your own. Do not disturb a dog if sleeping, caring for puppies or playing. Before you try to pet a dog, keep a safe amount of distance to determine the dog’s body language. A dog that may be threatening will display a tense body, pulled back ears, flicking tongue and rolled eyes. If you think the dog may attack, do not yell and remain motionless. Avoid any eye contact as well. If the dog does attack, try to throw something between you and him.