Dog bite prevention week on now

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May 20, 2008
By dvm360.com staff

Have you told anyone how not to get bit by a dog lately? Have you encouraged an owner to seek training for a persistently biting dog? The AVMA, the United States Postal Service, and the American Academy of Pediatrics are hoping you've done both. Those three organizations have teamed up to help prevent some of the 4.7 million dog bites a year. Dog Bite Prevention Week is ongoing, May 18 to 24.

For veterinarians and consumers, the AVMA is providing free brochures, a podcast, and succinct advice to prevent dog bites. It includes recommendations for dog training, vaccination against rabies and other diseases, and neutering and spaying. The AVMA advises people not to run past a dog, to always ask an owner for permission to pet a dog, and to never bother a dog that's sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies. Many victims of dog bites—most commonly children, senior citizens, and postal workers—could have avoided injury with proper education. "Dog bites are largely preventable," says Dr. Gregory S. Hammer, AVMA president. "Through appropriate dog training and education of adults and children, these numbers can be dramatically reduced."

AVMA resources include a downloadable brochure and an MP3 podcast on the subject with Dr. Kimberly May.

You can also find studies on the Centers for Disease Control Web site.