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How can dog bites be prevented?
Dog bites often occur when there is miscommunication between the dog and the victim. It is not common to have an unprovoked attack by a stray dog. Often, it is the dog owner or a family member who is bitten.
Dog bite prevention begins with:
- Choosing a dog breed that is compatible with the family situation.
- Aggressive dogs may not be appropriate in a home with infants and small children.
- Dogs are social animals; therefore socializing and appropriate training will help minimize the risk of dog bites.
Safety tips to prevent dog bites
- Do not approach a stray or unfamiliar dog, especially if its owner is not present.
- Do not approach a dog with quick motions or from above. Allow time for the dog to acknowledge your presence before attempting to pet it.
- Prior to contact with the dog, ask the owner if is OK to pet the dog.
- If a confrontation occurs, do not make eye contact and do not run or scream.
- Do not approach an unfamiliar dog while it is eating, sleeping, or caring for puppies.
- Do not leave young children or infants unsupervised with a dog.
Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care
Centers for Disease Control, "Dog Bite Prevention," May 14, 2009