Dog Bite Prevention
Did you know:
Each year, over 600 Floridians are hospitalized due to injuries
from dog bites?
Each year, an average of 2 Floridians die from injuries due to
Children between 1 and 9 years of age are at the highest risk
for dog bites, with boys in this age group at a higher risk than
Children under 10 years of age are more likely to be bitten on
the head or neck than other age groups?
This year, National Dog Bite Prevention Week is observed from May
13-19, 2012. This event is coordinated by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA),
the U.S. Postal Service and the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC). Statewide, the Florida Department of Health, the
Florida Animal Control Association, and the Florida Veterinary Medical
Association have collaborated on encouraging all Floridians to learn how to avoid being bitten by a dog.
For more information on dog bite avoidance and the national and local Dog Bite
Prevention Campaigns see the links below.
Animals that are not neutered, particularly male dogs,
may be at increased risk of biting people. Thousands
of healthy and loving dogs and cats are put to death every
year in the U.S. because pet owners do not spay or neuter
Safety tips for dog owners:
Before getting a dog, seek the
advice of a veterinarian or animal shelter personnel about which dog is
right for your family and your lifestyle.
Spay or neuter your dog.
Socialize your dog so it feels at
ease around people and other animals.
Don't put your dog in situations
where it may feel threatened or teased.
Follow leash laws. Don't let your
dog roam freely.
Train your dog to consistently
obey basic commands such as "stay," "sit," and "come."
Keep your dog healthy with regular
check-ups and a vaccination program tailored to your dog's needs.
Make sure your veterinarian
vaccinates your dog against rabies with a licensed rabies vaccine.
See a veterinarian promptly if
your dog is sick or injured. Illness and pain can make a dog more likely to
aggressive games with your dog.
Confine your dog in a fenced yard
or dog run when it is outside.
Do not leave your dog on a chain
for long periods of time. Chained dogs are more likely to bite.
Safety tips for adults and children:
Never approach an unfamiliar
Never run from a dog and
never scream around a dog.
If you believe a dog is
about to attack you, try to place something between yourself and the dog,
such as a backpack or a bicycle.
If a dog knocks you over,
roll into a ball, cover your face and stay still.
Children should never
approach or play with dogs unless supervised by an adult.
Children should tell an
adult if they see a stray dog or a dog acting strangely.
Don't look a dog right in the eyes.
Don't disturb a dog that is
sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
Adults should never leave an infant or young
child alone with any dog, not even the family pet.
Seek medical attention immediately.
Control bleeding and wash the area of the bite with soap and water.
Report the bite to your local county health department, animal control agency, or police.
For more information on prevention, see:
Click here to Enlarge Map
Table showing the rate of dog bite emergency department visits per 100,000 by
zip code in 2011
Click here to Enlarge Map
Table showing the rate of dog bite
hospitalization visits per 100,000 by
zip code in 2011
bite prevention: Links to published articles on dog bites.
What you should know about dog bite prevention.
U.S. Postal Service:
Tips for protecting your letter carrier from dog bites.
State Farm Insurance:
More information on dog bite prevention.
Humane Society of the United States:
Stay Dog Bite Free! Questions and answers, resources for children.
For more information on rabies:
Rabies prevention brochures are available from the Florida Department of Health distribution center for $15 per pack of 50. The distribution center can be reached at (850) 414-8086, or by fax at (850) 414-7753. Please ask for stock number 5730-845-0150-1 (English); 5730-846-0150-5 (Spanish); or 5730-847-0150-0(Creole).
Dog Bites in Florida by Age, 1999-2007
(9 KB PDF)
Dog Bites in
Florida, (15KB PDF) by Danielle Stanek, DVM, Carina Blackmore, DVM, PhD, et
A community approach to dog bite prevention
(112 KB PDF) by the American Veterinary Medical Association Task Force on Canine Aggression and Human-Canine Interactions.
Nonfatal dog bite-related injuries treated in hospital emergency
departments, U.S., 2001 from the CDC.
Animal Control Association
Florida Department of Health Office of Injury Prevention