Tips on dealing with aggressive dogs - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

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Tips on dealing with aggressive dogs

Dog bites pose a serious threat to communities across the country and are a mounting concern to some in Cincinnati.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control said more than 800,000 people receive medical care for dog bites each year and at least half of those are bitten are kids.

Wednesday at 10 p.m., FOX19 NOW will have a special report on the growing concern of aggressive dogs loose in the community.

The AMVA said children and senior citizens are among those most affected by dog bite instances.

To protect yourself and your family, experts said the best advice is to avoid approaching dogs you are not familiar with. The AMVA said people should not pet a dog in scenarios such as:

  • If the dog is not with its owner
  • If the dog is with its owner, but the owner does not give permission to pet the dog
  • If the dog is on the other side of a fence – don't reach through or over a fence to pet a dog
  • If a dog is sleeping or eating
  • If a dog is sick or injured
  • If a dog is resting with her puppies, or seems very protective of her puppies and anxious about your presence
  • If a dog is playing with a toy
  • If a dog is growling or barking
  • If a dog appears to be hiding or seeking time alone

Experts said that any dog can bite, even the sweetest, cuddliest pets if provoked. Vets warn that it’s not a dog’s breed that determines whether it will bite, but rather the individual pet’s history and behavior.

The AMVA and other organizations do have suggestions on how to prevent, or deal with, dog bites.

The United States Postal Office asks dog owners to put their dogs in a separate room if a mail carrier must come to the door. Officials also said people should not take mail directly from a mail carrier with a dog present, it may look like a threatening gesture. Pet owners may be asked to pick up their mail at the post office if they have free-roaming animals.

The Hamilton County Health Department said that in instances where a child is approached by a dog, they should stop and stand still -- and never try to outrun a dog. If the dog attacks, the child should immediately drop to the ground and curl up in a ball. Officials said it's also important to protect your head, face and cover your ears.

If you or someone you know is bitten by a dog, the AMVA said you should:

  • If the dog's owner is present, request proof of rabies vaccination, and get the owner's name and contact information.
  • Clean bite wound with soap and water as soon as possible.
  • Consult your doctor immediately or go to the emergency room if it's after office hours.
  • Contact the dog's veterinarian to check vaccination records.

For more information on what to do in a dog bit situation, click here.

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