Are you a dog lover? Do you have a pet dog? If you do, you ought to read this article. Learn about how to prevent dog bites.
Dogs are the loveliest of all pets. They are very popular among American households. According to industry studies, around 46.6% of American households are pet owners. It’s not surprising why there is an increase in the number of dog bites. In 2008, around 866 individuals were brought to emergency department and an average of 26 hospital admissions per day were recorded due to dog bites. That gives a total of more than 300,000 cases of dog bites or an 86% increase from the 1993. Aside from wounds, dog bites can cause rabies – a serious, and often irreversible, infection that affects the nervous system.
The increase in cases of dog bites can be easily attributed to the surge in dog ownership. However, there are other factors that may have contributed to the rise in dog bites. One likely reason is the rise into popularity of larger dog breeds. And obviously, bigger dogs tend to be more dangerous. According to a certified canine club, Labrador breeds are among the most common dog breeds today. They are followed by German Shepherds, Rottweiler, and Rhodesian Ridgebacks. All of these dogs are adorable, but when they become aggressive, they can inflict more injuries that require emergency care. Dogs with bigger teeth and larger jaws cause more damage.
Another reason why dog bites are no more common is that dogs spend more time alone today. Since pets are often left at home for eight to ten hours a day, they tend to become less sociable. They also receive insufficient training, which makes biting incidents more common. Animal experts say that while genetics affect how a dog behaves, environment molds its behavior. Dogs with enough exercise, socialization and mental stimulation tend to be more socially behaved and are less likely to bite.
Who’s at risk?
Young children (5 to 9 years old) are at great risk for dog bites because of their lack of care for safety. Children who sustained injuries at face level and with larger dogs require hospitalization. Elderly people may also need hospitalization after a dog bite because their skin can be easily torn even by a minor bite; and their immune system is weaker than younger people thus are more prone to infection.
Moreover, dog bite cases are more common in the countryside compared to rural areas because dogs are more likely to roam around. And when they do, they tend to develop pack mentality and become aggressive. These attacks
can lead to very serious injuries.
In order to prevent dog bites, you should be proactive in protecting yourself around unfamiliar dogs. Do not assume a dog is friendly or stay too close from a dog. If you have been bitten by a dog, be sure to cleanse the wound soap and water. Visit the nearest emergency department or call your doctor right away.