Have you noticed people walking their dogs with a yellow ribbon tied to the leash? Do you know what these ribbons mean?
While the dogs might be patriotic, these ribbons aren’t being used to show support for our troops. They serve as a warning that the dog at the end of the leash doesn’t like to be approached and petted by strangers, and that you should keep your distance.
Of course it’s always good to ask permission before petting someone’s dog—yellow ribbon or not. Doing so is just one way to help prevent some of the estimated 4.5 million dog bites that happen every year in the United States.
This week (May 18-24) is National Dog Bite Prevention Week, sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association. With an estimated population of 70 million dogs living in U.S. households, millions of people – most of them children – are bitten by dogs every year. The majority of these bites are preventable.
Every day during National Dog Bite Prevention Week, the AVMA will be releasing a short, fun video with a tip on preventing dog bites. The first video, released Sunday, discusses the yellow ribbon campaign and stresses the importance of asking permission before petting someone’s dog.
Monday’s video serves as a reminder never to pet a dog over or through a fence, even if it's one you know. Future videos will address other bite risk scenarios such as dogs that are eating, dogs and postal workers, and more.
Visit the AVMA’s website to learn more about dog bite prevention and access tools to help educate others so we can all work together to prevent dog bites. And subscribe to AVMA's YouTube channel for daily dog bite prevention videos all week, as well as other pet, vet and animal-related videos throughout the year.
For more information, or to set up interviews with veterinary experts on dog bites and dog behavior, contact Michael San Filippo, AVMA media relations assistant, at 847-285-6687 (office), 847-732-6194 (cell) or firstname.lastname@example.org.