Dog Attacks Safety Talk
Every year in the U.S. there are 4.5 million dog bites according to the CDC. While the majority of these bites do not occur on the job, there are many that do. The first occupation that comes to many peoples’ minds when discussing dog bites on the job is postal carriers. Other occupations that are at higher risk of dog bites are cable installers, police officers, package deliverers, and meter readers. With the sheer number of dogs in the US, there are many other occupations exposed to potential dog attacks. It is important to take into consideration the hazards dogs can pose both on and off the job.
Dog Attack Injuries
Dog attacks can be as minor as a small single bite to as serious as death. It is estimated that there are 20 to 30 fatalities due to dog attacks every year in the United States. Dogs also carry many bacteria that can be passed on to a human from a bite. The CDC reports that a dog’s mouths can carry over 60 types of bacteria and approximately 18% of all dog bites get infected. While rabies is a common disease, dogs can also carry Pasteurella, MRSA, and Tetanus. It is important to immediately wash the site of a dog bite with soap and water. Report any strange behavior from a dog that has attacked or been aggressive to Animal Control. It is possible the dog could have rabies. Seek medical attention if you get an infection or have a fever after getting bit by a dog.
How to Avoid a Dog Attack
- Do not try to pet unfamiliar dogs
- Do not enter an area where a dog could be, like a backyard, especially if the owner is not present
- Even if you know the dog they could still bite if they do not recognize you
- Do not get aggressive with playing with a dog
- Never try to take a bone or other object from the dog if it is growling or showing aggression
- Do not let small children play with dogs unattended
If a Dog Keeps Approaching or Attacks
- Stand in place and do not make any sudden movements if an unknown dog approaches
- Never run from an approaching dog
- Yell “NO” to attempt to get the dog to back down
- Do not make eye contact or take an aggressive posture towards the dog
- If knocked down, get into a fetal position and cover your head and neck
According to the ASPCA, there are 70 to 80 million dogs as pets in the United States. It is estimated that over 40% of all households have at least one dog. Because of these numbers, the chance of coming into contact with an aggressive dog at some point over your lifetime is high. Be cautious when around dogs you do not know and especially protect small children from dogs that can potentially attack.