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Goldberg & Weigand, LLP
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Cape Cod Personal Injury Blog

It's National Dog Bite Prevention Week®!

Any dog - even a familiar dog - can bite. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), a non-profit advocate for the veterinary profession, works to raise awareness about the steps that can be taken to prevent dog bite injuries.  Over half of the 800,000 people requiring medical attention for dog bites in the U.S. every year are children.

  • Never leave a baby or child alone with a dog
  • Choose a pet carefully, especially if you have children in the household. Research the behavior, suitability and health of any particular breeds you're considering.
  • Postpone getting a dog until your children are at least 4 years old.
  • Teach kids to be kind and careful around ALL dogs, including your own.
  • Do not disturb a dog that's with its puppies, sleeping, or eating.
  • Do not reach through a fence to pet a dog, and teach your children to be cautious when greeting unfamiliar dogs.
  • Make sure your dog is "socialized", that is, that it spends time with people and other animals as a puppy, so it doesn't feel threatened when in those situations.
  • Be a responsible pet owner - train your dog, obey leash laws, have the dog neutered, and keep your dog healthy with regular vet visits.
  • If you are threatened by a dog, don't scream, yell or run. Avoid eye contact and back away slowly, if you can. If you are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your head and neck, and protect your face.

Take responsibility for your dog's actions if it bites someone:

  • Restrain the dog immediately and confine it away from the scene of the attack.
  • Wash the victim's wounds with soap and water and make sure medical advice is sought. Call 911 if response by paramedics is needed.
  • Provide information including your name, address and your dog's vaccination history. If your dog does not have a current rabies vaccination, it may be necessary to quarantine or euthanize it for rabies testing.
  • Report all dog bites as required by local laws.

For more information on preventing dog bite injuries, visit AVMA's Dog Bite Prevention page online: https://www.avma.org/public/Pages/Dog-Bite-Prevention.aspx

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