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An estimated 4.7 million dog bites occur in the United States each year, according to statistics by the by the American Humane Association. Below are some safety measures you can take to ensure the safety of your friends, family and visitors to your home.

Dogs and Children

The key to safety between pets and children is education. Children that know how to properly interact around a dog are less likely to be bitten. In fact, the American Humane has created American Humane KIDS: Kids Interacting with Dogs Safely, a dog-bite prevention program for young children.

Dogs should never be left attended with children under the age of two.

It’s important to teach children to never kick, slap, hit or pull on a dog’s ears or tail or to otherwise taunt them.

Avoid approaching a dog you don’t know, no matter how cute. Always ask permission of the owner first.

Dog Owners

Dogs need to be supervised at all times around young children, particularly when other children are in the home.

Neutering can help to reduce aggression in male dogs, while spaying can reduce aggression in female dogs, but that’s a personal decision or the dog owner.

Take the time to train and socialize your dog – it will be good for both of you.

Dog Bite Laws

The laws on dog bites vary from state-to-state but in many, the owner is responsible for an injury even in cases where the dog has not previously displayed aggressive behavior.

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