Dog Bite Prevention in Michigan
It’s no secret that dog bites can cause serious injuries and pain. They can also cause infections due the high amount of germs that a dog’s mouth contains. Nearly 20% of people bitten by a dog require medical assistance. Regardless of the breed or temperament of a dog, any dog is capable of biting with provocation and it’s important to know to interact dogs without getting bitten.
Dog ownership is extremely common in both Michigan and The United States as a whole. It’s been found that over 1/3 of homes own at least canine. The positives of owning a dog are many! They have been proven to decrease stress levels, promote healthier exercise habits, and are great companions for the owner and the owner’s kids. That being said, there are some negative aspects as well. The main concern is that any dog is capable of biting which can lead to excruciating pain, long term injuries, scarring and disfigurement, and lifetime nerve damage. In some rare instances, infections can actually lead to extreme illness and sometimes death.
Just because there are so many possible negatives, you should not avoid dogs completely out of fear of the unknown. Most dogs are extremely friendly and will never hurt a soul. If you own or dog or are around dogs frequently, its important to be aware of the risks as well how to be around them while minimizing the risk of injury.
Know The Risks of Injuries to Both Children and Adults
Children and kids are much more likely to suffer a dog bite and the result is usually more severe given their physical qualities. Since the risk to children is substantially higher, kids should never be left unattended when allowed to play with a dog. Over 50% of dog bites are reported to happen at home with family pets or pets that are familiar to us. For obvious reasons, having a dog in the household increases the risks to both kids and adults for receiving a dog bite. If you choose to have multiple dogs, this also increases the likelihood of bites. In fact, households that have multiple dogs increases the risk of injury by over 500% compared to households that don’t have any dogs. Men are much more likely than women to be bitten by a dog and this is because many dogs are protective of their owners and large males tend to pose a higher threat in the eyes of canine.
Dog Bite Prevention Tips and Things To Avoid
Some tips for dog bite prevention include the following:
- Ask the owner if their dog is friendly and get permission before reaching out and attempting to pet their dog.
- If you are approached by an unfamiliar canine, it’s best to remain still and let the dog feel at ease.
- Let the owner or a responsible adult about strange behavior that a dog is displaying.
Some things to avoid in order to reduce the risk of a bit include the following:
- Never approach a dog that you are unfamiliar with.
- Never run from a dog as this can spark natural aggressive instincts.
- Never act panicked or make loud noises. Dog pick up on these human behaviors and can create additional stress.
- If a dog is sleeping, eating a meal, or caring for a young puppy, simply don’t disturb them.
- Don’t begin petting a dog without letting it feel you out and sniff you first. Getting down to their level and putting out your hand is a better alternative.
- Never purposely rile up a dog and attempt to make them play aggressively.
- Never leave kids or children alone with a dog. Adult supervision should be mandatory.
What Should I Do If An Unknown Dog Approaches Me and I Don’t Want To Interact?
This is a common and scary situation for many people, especially kids that might already have a fear for dogs. Here is a short list of the things you should do to give you the best chance at preventing a dog bite.
- Avoid direct eye contact with the canine as this can show that you want to interact with it when you really don’t.
- Avoid making loud noises and panicking. Don’t flail your arms or make quick movements with your hands and arms.
- Be still and stay calm. Honestly, this is best thing you can do as it shows you are not interested.
- Don’t face the dog directly. Instead, you should face sideways partially or completely.
- Say no or home in a firm deep voice as these commands are common and probably familiar to the dog.
- Wait for the dog to pass and SLOWLY back away. Do not run away or make it apparent that you are fearful.