ROHNERT PARK, Calif., Feb. 7/PRNewswire/ — Responsible pet ownership and safe behavior are critical to preventing the number 1 public health problem of children — dog bites. Each year, dogs bite more than 4.7 million people; about 60 percent of them are children. Nearly a million people seek medical treatment for canine attacks annually while on average, 20 people die every year from dog bites.
Insurance companies pay out approximately a billion dollars annually for dog bite related claims. “Dog bites can result in serious, life-threatening injury to the victim and can leave a survivor scarred and disfigured,” said Dr. Richard Swanson, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association(AVMA). “Fortunately, it is also a problem that can be largely prevented.”
To reduce the chance of your dog biting someone:
— Train your dog
— Make sure your dog is socialized as a puppy
— Carefully consider your pet selection
— Keep your dog healthy
— Neuter your pet
To reduce the chance of being bitten by a dog:
— Do not approach strange dogs
— Don’t run past a dog
— If a dog approaches, stay still
— If you’re threatened by a dog, remain calm
— If a dog knocks you to the ground, curl up and protect your face and neck
— Never leave a baby or small child alone with a dog
For more information, visit State Farm’s Web site (www.statefarm.com) or the AVMA at www.AVMA.org.