Lisa Chelenza knows that not everyone in your family walks on two legs. For helpful tips on taking care of your animal friends, and advice from local veterinary experts, watch Pet Pointers Wednesday and Saturday on YNN. If you have ideas for Pet Pointers segments, email Lisa at email@example.com.
Updated 05/08/2013 05:00 AM
Pet Pointers: Dog bites
Each year, nearly five million people are bitten by dogs and most of them are children. Pet Expert, Lisa Chelenza has more about how to avoid dog bites and what to do if you are bitten.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
According to CDC statistics, the highest rate of dog bites with injuries is among children between 5-9 years of age and often from a dog they are familiar with.
You can help prevent dog bites by teaching kids to be kind but cautious when dealing with animals and never tease a dog or play aggressive games. Never leave any dog of any size alone with a child. Play time should always be supervised. Even a pint sized Pomeranian can cause serious damage.
If you are approached by a suspicious dog do not make eye contact and do not run. Dogs love to chase. Freeze and cover your chest and neck with your arms, hands balled into fists to protect your fingers. Make sure to cover your face.
If you have a bag or any other object with you, use it to shield your body by putting it between you and the dog. Remember just because a dog is wagging his tail does not mean they won’t bite.
If a dog is in an unfamiliar place with lots of activity even the sweetest dog can become fearful and snap at someone trying to pet them or worse nuzzle up to them. Chained dogs are also more likely to bite.
Some signs to look for include snarling or lips that are curling, trembling or licking of lips. If a dog is backing up, avoiding eye contact or looking away, these are subtle signs they are uncomfortable, nervous or feel threatened.
If you are bitten, get the home address and contact information of the animals’ owner and call police. Find out if the animal has been vaccinated against rabies and get the rabies tag number. Many states require the animal to be quarantined until rabies can be ruled out.
Clean the wound and seek medical attention immediately. You may have to receive treatment for rabies, which is deadly to both humans and animals if left untreated.
It’s important to be alert while interacting with any dog and its best to keep your face away from theirs to avoid incident and stitches.
For more information on dog safety, visit the CDC website.