Dog bite prevention

Veterinarians have a professional and ethical obligation to address the issue of dog bites. Depending on the context, any dog has the potential to bite. Therefore, veterinarians are obligated to be fully informed on the latest information and resources available to reduce dog bite risks. The AVMA considers it inappropriate to make predictions about a given dog’s propensity for aggressive behavior based solely on its breed. The AVMA also considers it inappropriate to label specific breeds or classes of animals as aggressive or dangerous. The AVMA encourages state and local veterinary associations and individual veterinarians to disseminate information about dog bite prevention to relevant audiences (e.g., governmental agencies, schools, youth organizations, civic clubs, pet care organizations, the public). This information should be disseminated via multiple channels, including printed materials, presentations, and online educational materials. Individual veterinarians are well-positioned to assist in providing client education about dog bite prevention.

Related resources

Literature review

Welfare implications of the role of breed in dog bite risk and prevention


Dog bite prevention—A community approach 

Client education materials

English-language brochure: Dog bite prevention
Spanish-language brochure: Prevención de mordeduras de perros
Webpage: Dog bite prevention