This week is National Dog Bite Prevention Week® and it’s the perfect opportunity for veterinary professionals to educate pet owners and the public about what they can do to prevent dog bites.
Dog bites pose a serious health risk to our communities and society, and it’s critical for people to know that there are actions they can take to reduce their risk of being bitten. While the number of dog bite claims decreased by 9 percent in 2018 as reported by the Insurance Information Institute (III) and State Farm, the number of emergency room visits by children under the age of 1 nearly doubled. Children are the most common victims of dog bites and are far more likely to be severely injured.
The AVMA offers free resources to help you educate clients about why a dog might bite (hint: it has nothing to do with breed), and spread the word about dog bite prevention—not just this week, but all year long. Here are some helpful places to begin:
AVMA members also can access our free veterinary toolkit. This set of resources is available exclusively to AVMA members and includes additional information and tools, such as ready-to-use images for social media and downloadable posters for the clinic. Use the tools to highlight effective strategies for clients and community members to keep their pets, families, and neighbors safe from dog bites.
National Dog Bite Prevention Week® is a project of the National Dog Bite Prevention Week® Coalition. It takes place during the second full week of April each year.