Orange County recognizes national Dog Bite Prevention Week

Orange County, NC (April 5, 2018)—Orange County Animal Services is recognizing National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which takes place during the second full week of April each year. This event focuses on educating the public about preventing dog bites. In 2018, National Dog Bite Prevention Week will take place between April 8 - 14.

Approximately 70 million dogs live in U.S. households, and millions of people are bitten every year. In Orange County, 137 dog bites were reported in 2016 and 175 dog bites were reported in 2017. Children, elderly people and postal carriers are the most frequent victims of dog bites. Most dog bites are preventable, and there are many things you can do at home and within your community to help prevent them.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) offers these tips for prevention of dog bites:

  • Avoid Risky Situations and understand when you should and should not interact with dogs. You should avoid petting a dog in these situations:
    • If a dog is not with its owner
    • If a dog is with its owner but the owner does not give permission to pet the dog
    • If a dog is on the other side of a fence, don't reach through or over a fence to pet a dog
    • If a dog is sleeping or eating
    • If a dog is sick or injured
    • If a dog is resting with her puppies or seems very protective of her puppies
    • If a dog is growling, barking, or playing with a toy
    • If a dog seems to be hiding or seeking time alone
    • If a dog’s body language suggests fear or stress (such as shifty eyes, panting, cowering, and tail between legs) 
  • Socialization is a good way to help prevent dogs from biting. Socializing your pet helps them feel at ease in different situations. By introducing your dog to people and other animals while it's a puppy, it feels more comfortable in different situations as it gets older. Also, it’s important to use a leash in public to make sure that you are able to control your dog.
  • Responsible pet ownership builds a solid foundation for dog bite prevention. Being a responsible owner can help reduce the risk of dog bites. Select a dog that's right for your family. Implement proper training and regular exercise. Make sure your pet is spayed or neutered.
  • Education is essential. Educate yourself and your children about how - or whether - to approach a dog.

For more information and educational videos, go here.   

For more safety tips about dog encounters, please go here for information from The NC Association of County Commissioners.

For information about Orange County Animal Services, go here.