Every year, thousands of people seek emergency medical treatment for dog bites. How can you avoid being one of them? Follow these tips from State Farm Insurance and the American Veterinary Medical Association:
“Be cautious around strange dogs and treat your own pet with respect. Because children are the most frequent victims of dog bites, parents and caregivers should:
- NEVER leave a baby or small child alone with a dog.
- Be on the lookout for potentially dangerous situations.
- Start teaching young children — including toddlers — to be careful around pets.
- Don’t run past a dog. Dogs naturally love to chase and catch things. Don’t give them a reason to become excited or aggressive.
- Never disturb a dog that’s caring for puppies, sleeping or eating.
- If a dog approaches to sniff you — stay still. In most cases, the dog will go away when it determines you are not a threat.
- If you’re threatened by a dog, remain calm. Don’t scream. If you say anything, speak calmly and firmly. Avoid eye contact. Try to stay still until the dog leaves, or back away slowly until the dog is out of sight. Don’t turn and run.
- If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your head and neck. Protect your face.”
This article originally appeared on our blog on June 21, 2011.