Dog bite prevention: responsible dog ownership

Responsible pet ownership builds a solid foundation for dog bite prevention. Some basics of responsible dog ownership and dog bite prevention include:

  • Carefully select your dog. Puppies should not be obtained on impulse.
  • Make sure your pet is socialized as a young puppy so it feels at ease around people and other animals.
  • Don't put your dog in a position where it feels threatened or teased.
  • Train your dog. The basic commands "sit," "stay," "no," and "come" help dogs understand what is expected of them and can be incorporated into fun activities that build a bond of trust between pets and people.
  • Walk and exercise your dog regularly to keep it healthy and provide mental stimulation.
  • Avoid highly excitable games like wrestling or tug-of-war.
  • Use a leash in public to ensure you are able to control your dog and to show others that you are in control of your dog.
  • Keep your dog healthy. Have your dog vaccinated against rabies and preventable infectious diseases. Parasite control and veterinary care are also important because how your dog feels affects how it behaves.
  • Neuter or spay your dog.
  • If you have a fenced yard, make sure the gates and fence are secure.