Do’s & Don’ts of Dog Safety

There are close to 77 million nice dogs in the US… but any dog can bite.  This week is dog bite prevention week.  Below are some facts about dog bites in the US from the AVMA website: 

  • In 2017 there were nearly 350,000 people treated at hospital emergency rooms for non-fatal dog-related injuries.
  • Of those people, there were nearly 10,600 children two years old or younger who visited emergency rooms as a result of dog bites​.
  • In 2018, insurers paid $675 million in claims related to dog bites, according to estimates from the Insurance Information Institute.

Take this opportunity to read over some helpful advice about approaching dogs, and share it with your friends and family.


  1. Always ask the owner’s permission before petting a dog.
  2. Remember: not every dog that wags its tail is friendly.
  3. Always approach dogs slowly and carefully.
  4. When meeting a new dog, let it come to you and smell you first.
  5. Know where the dogs in your neighborhood live.
  6. Stay away from stray dogs.
  7. If a dog approaches you, remain calm. Don’t scream. Stand still.
  8. Always protect your face, neck and arms.
  9. If you’re attacked, give the dog a book or backpack to chew on.
  10. If a dog knocks you on the ground, curl up in a ball.
  11. When a dog you don’t know comes close, be very still! Stand like a tree! be like a rock!
  12. Always use a leash when you walk your dog.
  13. Tell your friends what you learned about dog safety.


  1. Don’t make loud noises around dogs.
  2. Don’t bother a dog while it is sleeping or eating.
  3. Never tease a dog.
  4. Never reach through a fence to pet a dog.
  5. Never put your hand between two dogs.
  6. Never put your face close to a dog.
  7. Never try to help a hurt dog, get an adult to help.
  8. Never enter a yard with a dog without permission.
  9. Never leave a baby alone with a dog.
  10. Don’t bother a mother dog when she’s caring for her puppies.
  11. Never pull a dog’s ear or tail. 

IVMA Do’s & Don’ts of Dog Safety