Living in Florida, you’re likely exposed to other peoples’ pets often. Your area’s weather tends to be warm and inviting, and that means everyone spends more time out in the community. While it can be enjoyable to see new faces and new pets, there’s always the risk that a pet will bite or cause harm to you or your family.
To help area residents learn more about dog bites, National Dog Bite Prevention Week was created. In 2015, this week runs between May 17 and May 23. Organized in part by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Centers for Disease Control, the Florida Department of Health, the Florida Veterinary Medical Association, the Florida Animal Control Association and the U.S. Postal Service, National Dog Bite Prevention Week aims to inform people all around the nation about the potential for dog bites and how to prevent them from impacting your life.
Between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010, there were 799 dog bites in Florida that were reported to the Florida Department of Health. Of these, most bites involved children under 6 years old. The dogs were known to the family, too.
So, what do these organizations suggest to prevent bites? First, don’t play aggressively with dogs, especially if you don’t know them well. Teasing animals, even when meaning well, can result in bites, too, so you shouldn’t taunt them or tease them with toys or foods. Illness and pain can make a dog bite, so treat your own animal for illnesses early and if you see a sick animal, call for help to prevent injuries to others in your neighborhood.
Source: Florida Health, “Dog Bite Prevention,” accessed May. 07, 2015