According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), dogs bite 4.7 million people each year in the United States. One in five of those bitten—approximately 885,000 people—seek medical assistance and about 386,000 require a trip to the emergency room. Sixteen of these patients don't survive from their bite-related injury.
These are startling statistics, especially when you consider that dog bites are a largely preventable problem. Do your party by celebrating National Dog Bite Prevention Week—the third full week of May—and educating clients about dog bite prevention.
While you'll definitely want to target dog owners—adults with two or more dogs are five times more likely to be bitten than those without dogs in their homes, says the CDC—don't exclude cat owners. Remember, clients don't need to own a dog to be bitten by one. Alert all clients, especially those with children, about the dangers of dog bites and how to prevent them. Statistically, children ages 5 to 9 years old are at the highest risk of being bitten followed by adult males.
Be sure to emphasize to clients that any dog can bite. And although many clients may be under the impression that certain breeds are more likely to bite, the American Veterinary Medical Association says there’s little scientific evidence to support that claim.
For a list of safety tips for children as well as things clients should consider before getting a dog, visit cdc.gov and download the Dog Bite: Fact Sheet to hand out to pet owners.