Dog Bites: Facts and Prevention

Dogs are sweet and loyal, and they’re our best friends, but it's still estimated that there are over 500,000 dog bites in Canada a year. That's approximately a bite every 60 seconds! Even one is too many, and the truth is: almost every single bite is preventable.

Sadly, children and the elderly are the most common victims of dog bites. Children are often bitten on the face or neck because they happen to be closest in height. Adults are generally bitten on the hands. One out of every five bites requires serious medical attention, and some even require reconstructive surgery.

So why is this happening?

The risk that’s closer to home

When the average person imagines a dog bite, they might picture a breed that’s considered dangerous, coming out of nowhere, running off-leash toward a stranger in the park or on the street. While that certainly happens—and is preventable by the owners—these bites do not make up the bulk of the statistics.

Most dog bites are not from strays or strange dogs, but from loyal pets. No matter the breed, if your dog becomes aggravated, or injured by careless activity, they will communicate their fear or displeasure. If nobody reads those signs, they will eventually resort to a bite.

The real underlying issue

Clear communication makes all the difference. Unfortunately, even loving, long-time dog owners can fail to read these escalating signals from their dogs. The dogs don’t actually want to bite, and in almost every case, they feel they have no other choice because their discomfort and fear is being ignored.

If a dog DOES bite, they usually pay a steep price.

Unfortunately, even loving, long-time dog owners can fail to read the escalating signals being given to them by their dogs.

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