The AVMA designates this week as Dog Bite Prevention Week. There are 85 million dogs owned in the US and 38% of American homes have at least one dog.  With that number of dogs, the number of people bitten by a dog tops 4.5 million and that only accounts for those reported.  The largest group of people that are victims of a dog bite is children under the age of 16.  Most veterinarians agree that any dog can bite a person, especially if provoked or if the dog is startled or frightened.  A responsible pet owner understands this and learns how to minimize the risk of having our canine family member bite someone. 

This is especially true in my home with my Pancho.  He is a great companion, but I would never leave him unattended with my two-year-old grandson.  I also only walk him on a leash and avoid people walking their dogs since Pancho is dog aggressive. The possibility of breaking up a dog fight would risk me and, more concerning, the other person becoming dog bite victims. 

During this week, take a few minutes to explore The AVMA’s website to learn how you can prevent dog bites with your pet.     

Dr. George Melillo

Chief Veterinary Officer + Co-Founder