National Dog Bite Prevention Week coming up in April

To help educate the public and reduce dog bites, the AVMA is once again sponsoring National Dog Bite Prevention Week, held this year from April 9-15.

The AVMA’s webpage on dog bite prevention offers an overview of the topic, an explanation of why dogs bite, and advice about what people can do individually to prevent dog bites.

Members of the AVMA can spread the message about dog bite prevention to their clients and communities with the AVMA’s member toolkit, which features clinic materials and tools, posts for social media, and information on why the AVMA believes that breed-specific legislation is an ineffective response to the problem of dog bites.

The AVMA report A Community Approach to Dog Bite Prevention (PDF) highlights tangible steps to implement effective programs to prevent dog bites. The AVMA recommends the following strategies for dog bite prevention:

  • Enforcing generic laws on dangerous dogs that are not breed specific​, with an emphasis on chronically irresponsible owners
  • Enforcing animal control ordinances such as leash laws
  • Prohibiting dog fighting
  • Encouraging neutering
  • Conducting school-based and adult education programs that teach about pet selection strategies, pet care and responsibility, and bite prevention

The AVMA will be promoting National Dog Bite Prevention Week on social media. Veterinarians can use the hashtag #PreventDogBites to join the larger conversation.

Among the AVMA clinic materials for dog bite prevention is a coloring book, written in English with Spanish subtitles, to teach children how to act around dogs.