The Friedman Blog

Posted on 07/08/2011, by Jeremy Edsall

Are Dogs Hounding You? Preventing dog bites while on the job

5 Million People Are Bitten By Dogs Each Year

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there are approximately 5 million people bitten by dogs each year (2 percent of the entire U.S. population). For those working in the field each day, such as postal workers and utility employees, the threat of a dog bite is a reality.

Defending and protecting the home is instinctual for canines, so most strangers are seen as a threat. All dogs, no matter what their demeanor, are able to be provoked – and unfortunately for you, what stirs their aggression may not be obvious.

Avoiding Dog Bites
How can you prevent an attack by the neighborhood pooch while on the job? Follow these recommendations:
•    Avoid placing unfamiliar tools and equipment in your hands when approaching a house. Approach the house without your equipment first to greet the homeowner, and then get your tools.
•    A nervous dog will bite the first thing that is put in front of its face. Do not place your hands out to greet a dog.
•    If a dog comes up to sniff you, stay still. Once it determines you are not a threat, it will likely lose interest.
•    Do not run from a dog, as it may see this as a game of chase.

Exercise caution when approaching a house where a dog is hitting against a glass door. The dog could  break the glass, posing a hazard to you both.
•    If a dog becomes aggressive in your presence, avoid eye contact and back away slowly.

Safety Tools
There are several deterrent products on the market that are useful in preventing dog injuries. Consider using one of these devices to avoid injuries:
•    Ultrasonic devices emit an audible sound that only canines and felines can hear. It usually will cause them to stop and turn away from the sound.
•    Dog sticks are long poles with a tennis ball on the end; a dog’s attention may be diverted to the ball instead of you.
•    You can bring along pepper spray, but this should only be used in emergency situations, as it will harm the animal. You may also be opening yourself – and  – up to future legal action from the dog’s owner.

If You Are Bitten
Treat the injury immediately, and get information such as vaccination records from the dog’s owner. If you are attacked with no owner present, call the authorities and report the dog with as much description as you can provide. This will help animal control locate the animal

For infomational use only and is not intended to be medical or legal advice.  Copyright ©2010-2011 Zywave Inc.

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