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Dog Bite Statistics (How Likely Are You To Get Bit?)


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, The Ridgewood Health Department offers these guidelines for staying safe around dogs. According to a study from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 4.7 million dog bites occur in the United States each year, and 800,000 of those bites result in medical care.
These are scary statistics. But scary becomes a lot less so when you’re armed with the right information. From accounting for your own behavior around animals, to why dogs actually bite in the first place, we’re giving you an arsenal of information in this article so you can bite back in the dog bite debate.

Why does a dog bite?
• Dogs bite as a reaction to a stressful situation.
• They may be scared or threatened.
• To protect themselves, their puppies, or their owners.
• They’re not feeling well or if they’re startled.
• They may nip or bite during play (which is why rough play should be avoided to ensure you don’t overly excite your animal).

Keep these triggers in mind anytime you’re around a canine. Your awareness of their mental state will help you recognize a potential bite situation more quickly.

While we’re not absolving the canine completely of its own responsibility in a dog-bite situation, there are always two sides to a story — even a bad one. When it comes to your side, there are more than two things that you can do to decrease your chances of an attack.

Just like people, there are always good pets that snap. Even though the dog never displayed any aggressive attitudes, even though you didn’t provoke him to attack, there are still those unaccountable instances that no one can explain or rationalize. However, more often than not, this isn’t the case.

That’s why, when dealing with any dog, you should maintain confident, but cautious body-language. Below are a few things you can do to make sure your attitude doesn’t trigger an attack.
• Don’t approach an unfamiliar animal.
• Do not run from a dog, panic or make loud noises.
• If an unfamiliar dog approaches you, remain motionless. Do not run or scream. Avoid direct eye contact.
• Don’t disturb a dog while they’re eating, sleeping, or taking care of their puppies.
• Allow a dog to sniff and smell you before you attempt to pet it. Afterward scratch the animal under the chin, not on the head.
• Report strays or dogs displaying strange behavior to your local animal control.
• If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and remain motionless. Be sure to cover your ears and neck with your hands and arms. Avoid eye contact and remain calm.
• Don’t encourage your dog to play aggressively.
• In some situations when a dog is approaching you just giving the command “no” or “bad dog” will make the dog back off.

If you are bitten by a dog you must get the information of the owner to see if the dog is current on vaccinations. You must also report the bite to the local Health Department and/or Police Department to investigate. It is also recommended that you see a physician to prevent any infections. Dog bites can get infected.

4 thoughts on “Dog Bite Statistics (How Likely Are You To Get Bit?)

  1. I find it amusing and perhaps indicative of where our society is today that there is no mention of the dog owners in this article. All of the responsibility has been laid on the person who is bitten and/or the dogs natural instinct.

    Even dog owners know…… There are good dog owners and bad dog owners.
    Dogs are animals, the owners are responsible for the actions of their dogs

    How about a list starting with:
    Train your dog
    Leash your dog
    Hold on to the leash
    Keep the leash at a reasonable length
    Maintain control over your dog at all times – make sure they know who their master is.
    Don’t assume everyone wants your dog to jump all over them and/or their children
    Do not encourage strangers to pet your dog

  2. There have been some terrible incidents lately.

  3. I can post a list of nasty agressive dogs here.
    The invisible fence creates a raving territorial animal.
    Irresponsible owners are at fault. The dog wants attention and if you treate it like w potted plant, it will have not training or correction of bad behavior .
    Dogs reflect their owners. Nice people have nice dogs.
    If the dog is an agressive asshole, generally so is the owner (confirmed observations many times)

  4. Very true that aggressive dogs that threaten you when you walk have mean aggressive owners who don’t care about anyone else except themselves. And they get off on it when their dogs threaten you. I know because I watch their crotch. They are bastards and their should be a law about controlling your dog on the sidewalk.

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