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Preventing Dog Bites – especially children!

A nonprofit organization called Prevent the Bite offers tips for helping people, especially children, to avoid dog bites, based on the “W.A.I.T.” principal for approaching unfamiliar dogs:
  • Wait to see if the dog is with its owner and if it looks friendly.
  • Ask the owner for permission to pet a dog.
  • Invite the dog to sniff you, while you stand with your hands curled at your side.
  • Touch the dog gently to pet, never at its face or tail.

If the dog looks unfriendly; if its owner declines to let you touch the pet; or if it doesn’t approach to sniff you, stop and walk slowly away. 

American Veterinary Medical Association dog bite prevention video:

For  more information on dog bites see: “Emergency Department Visits and Inpatient Stay Involving Dog Bites, 2008”

*Source: AHRQ, Center for Delivery, Organization, and Markets, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, Nationwide Emergency Department Sample, 2008