Posted in dogs, pet health

Avoiding a dog bite

I’ve subscribed to everything from how-tos on installing lightswitches, to keeping your hamster happy. I was raised reading everything including the cereal boxes and milk cartons on the breakfast table, so you might think I’d have mastered rapidly consuming printed words ages ago. Well, I’m probably considered ages old by now, but, sadly, I’m still not a proficient reader at a faster rate. I nearly skipped over this information from Cesar Millan’s website. If you’ve heard of the Horse Whisperer, you might also know that Cesar is known as the Dog Whisperer. Or at least you might have seen his TV show on the National Geographic channel. With episodes named things like “Chihuahuas from Hell” and “Desperate Housedogs,” I’m very much intrigued, but I have never watched, not even one whole episode.

I might tune in now, or at least read Cesar Millan’s newsletter more often. It’s full of news and tips about dogs and how to raise them well. I don’t have a dog, but I want to be ready if I meet one anyway.

Cesar Millan says that this week (May 17-23) is Dog Bite Prevention Week, an observance that was initiated by the U.S. Postal Service. This public service is, no doubt, inspired by the experiences of many postal carriers, the people who have daily contact with dogs in the completion of their daily jobs.

The U.S. Postal Service says, “The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) report that small children, the elderly, and Postal Service carriers – in that order – are the most frequent victims of dog bites.”

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 4.5 million people in the U.S. are bitten by a dog each year. The CDC offers these suggestions:

* Do not approach an unfamiliar dog.
* Do not run from a dog or scream.
* Remain motionless (e.g., “be still like a tree”) when approached by an unfamiliar dog.
* If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and lie still (e.g., “be still like a log”).
* Do not play with a dog unless supervised by an adult.
* Immediately report stray dogs or dogs displaying unusual behavior to an adult.
* Avoid direct eye contact with a dog.
* Do not disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
* Do not pet a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first.
* If bitten, immediately report the bite to an adult.

Most important about dog bite prevention is making dog owners aware that they are responsible for their pet’s behavior. By the same token, parents are responsible for their human child’s behavior too.

Check out www.cesarsway.com for more information on dogs and their humans.

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Owned by three cats over age 13