February 27, 2012 in News
Provided by Denver Animal Shelter and Animal Care & Control
According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 4.5 million dog bites occur in the U.S. each year. Almost one in five of these bites require medical attention.
Fortunately, many bites are preventable by taking a few simple precautions to reduce your risk.
- Spay or neuter your dog. In addition to helping to reduce pet overpopulation, spaying or neutering your dog can help reduce aggressive tendencies by reducing hormones. According to the American Humane Association, Un-neutered dogs are more than 2.6 times more likely to bite than neutered dogs. It’s also required by Denver City Ordinance.
- Never leave infants or young children alone with a dog. Children are more likely to unknowingly engage in movements or actions that are unfamiliar and can appear threatening or aggressive to a dog. Children also often lack the experience and knowledge to recognize cues when pets are apprehensive.
- Keep your pet on a leash. Just because your dog is dog-friendly, it doesn’t mean everyone else’s is. Dogs can be territorial and aggressively defend their space, which can result in human injuries for those trying to intervene. Denver City Ordinance requires dogs to be leashed except in designated dog park areas.
- Don’t tether your dog. Dogs that are constantly tethered become much more territorial, and often aggressive, than dogs that are not. If you must tether, it should only be for short periods.
- Ensure your pet is properly trained and socialized. Basic training is as important for the owner as it is for the dog, and socialization is the key. Puppies should be exposed to a variety of people, places, dogs and other animals starting at a young age. As dogs get older, continue this exposure to these elements to ensure that they remain well socialized throughout their lives.