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DogsThe County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control is pleased to share advice this week in acknowledgment of Dog Bite Prevention Week.

Dog Bite Prevention Week is here to raise awareness about the serious health risks posed by dog bites and to educate the public on how to prevent them.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States, with over 800,000 requiring medical attention. Shockingly, at least half of these victims are children.

Dog bites can have severe consequences, often resulting in injuries that require medical attention. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, here are some key facts about dog bites:

 – Almost 1 in 5 people bitten by dogs require medical attention.

 – Children are the most common victims of dog bites and are at a higher risk of severe injury.

 – Many dog bites affecting young children occur during everyday activities and while interacting with familiar dogs.

 –  It’s crucial to understand that any dog, regardless of size, breed, age, or gender, has the potential to bite if provoked.

Understanding why dogs bite is essential in preventing such incidents. Dogs may bite as a reaction to stress, fear, feeling threatened, or to protect something valuable to them, such as their puppies, food, or toys. Additionally, illness or injury can also prompt biting behavior. Even seemingly harmless play activities like wrestling or tug-of-war can escalate and lead to nipping or biting.

Preventing dog bites starts with responsible pet ownership and community education. Here are some tips to help prevent dog bites:

1. Properly Train and Socialize Dogs: Enroll your dog in obedience training classes and ensure they are properly socialized with people and other animals from a young age. DACC can provide resources for training.

2. Supervise Interactions: Always supervise interactions between children and dogs. Teach children how to properly approach and interact with dogs.

3. Recognize Warning Signs: Learn to recognize signs of stress or discomfort in dogs, such as avoidance, growling, barking, or stiff body language.

4. Respect Dogs’ Space: Avoid disturbing dogs when they are eating, sleeping, or caring for puppies.

5. Seek Professional Help: If you notice concerning behavior in your dog, seek guidance from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist.

6. Educate Others: Spread awareness about dog bite prevention in your community and encourage responsible pet ownership.

By taking these preventive measures, we can work together to reduce the number of dog bites and create safer environments for both people and pets.

DACC is dedicated to promoting responsible pet ownership and ensuring the safety and well-being of both humans and animals.

For more information on dog bite prevention and safety tips, visit avma.org.

About the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC)

DACC is one of the largest animal care and control agencies in the nation, operating seven animal care centers and providing services to more than three million residents and their pets. DACC operates under the nationally recognized Socially Conscious Sheltering model to ensure the best possible outcomes for animals and the community. As a community resource center for pets and owners, DACC protects people and animals from harm, provides care for lost and unwanted animals, reunites lost pets with their families, and strives every day to move closer to its goal of finding a loving home for every adoptable pet that comes through its doors. To learn more about DACC, the resources DACC provides, and view its animals, visit  www.animalcare.lacounty.gov  or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly Twitter). To support DACC’s efforts, please donate to the Los Angeles County Animal Care Foundation at www.lacountyanimals.org. To learn more about Socially Conscious Sheltering, visit https://scsheltering.org/.

 

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