Buffalo Companion Animal Clinic

1214 Hwy 25 N

Buffalo, MN 55313

Phone: (763) 682-2181

OFFICE HOURS

Mon, Tues, Thurs: 7 am - 7 pm

Wed & Friday: 7 am - 6 pm

Saturday: 8 am - 12 pm

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Carlos’ Corner

It's National Dog Bite Prevention Week

2016-05-16

 

My dog friends asked me to tell you that any dog can bite at any time. That is not because they're mean or want to hurt you. Sometimes it's the only way they have to express themselves when they feel threatened. They gave ideas to the staff at Buffalo Companion Animal Hospital to help keep your human safe, which you can read in the article below.

~Carlos

Every year during the third full week in May, the United States Postal Service (USPS) sponsors National Dog Bite Prevention Week to highlight safety tips and call for increased owner responsibility to prevent attacks. To highlight the seriousness of the problem, the USPS points out that nearly 6,500 of its employees were dog bite victims in 2015. However, the problem is not limited to postal workers. Every year in the United States, approximately 4.5 million people are bitten by a dog. Other statistics you should know include:
  • The majority of dog bite victims are children. They are 900 times more likely to be bitten by a dog than letter carriers and package delivery personnel. Senior citizens are the second most likely to sustain injury from a dog bite.
  • Dog bites account for five percent of all emergency room visits.
  • Any dog can bite at any time.
How to Prevent a Dog Bite
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends remaining motionless when an unfamiliar dog approaches and teach children to do the same. When you run from a dog, his natural instinct is to chase you. If you do not want to interact, remain calm while firmly commanding the dog to "Go home!" Avoid making direct eye contact since the dog could interpret this as a threat. You can also avoid an aggressive posture by turning to the side and backing away or wait for the dog to pass.
 
You should never approach an unfamiliar dog or pet any dog without allowing her to see and sniff you first. Interrupting a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for her young is likely to be met with aggression. Never allow young children to play around any dog unsupervised, even your own.
 
Be a Responsible Dog Owner
Since it comes natural to some breeds of dogs to play aggressively, it's important to invest in obedience training and teach your dog the proper way to play. When unfamiliar people come to your door, secure your dog in a locked room before you open it. Dogs are territorial and don't understand that letter carriers and visitors are not a threat to them. A dog is most likely to bite when he is unsocialized, receives little attention, or is left tied-up for long periods every day. You can prevent dog bites by not allowing these situations to occur in the first place.

What to Do in the Event of a Dog Bite or Attack
If you are holding something, such as a purse or a jacket, place it between you and the dog to minimize injury. You should curl up into a ball and place your hands over your neck and ears if the dog knocks you to the ground. Seek immediate medical attention for uncontrolled bleeding, deep wounds, swelling, and fever or if the wound becomes warm and dark red. For minor wounds, wash the area with soap and water, apply antiseptic cream, and cover it with a clean bandage.
 
Be certain to report the dog bite to Wright County Animal Control to advise them of a potential public health risk. People can contract rabies, tetanus, a staph infection, and several other serious conditions from a dog bite.
 
You can learn more about dog bite prevention at the resources listed on the Buffalo Companion Animal Clinic website or by asking us about it at your dog's next exam.
 
Photo Credit:  Eric Isselee



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