Most dog bites are preventable. Before getting
a dog, realistically evaluate your schedule,
environment, and lifestyle. Consult with a professional
(e.g. veterinarian, animal behaviorist, animal trainer)
to determine the types of dogs best suited to your
Dogs with a history of aggression are
inappropriate in households with children. Be
sensitive to cues that a child is fearful or
apprehensive about a dog and, if so, delay acquiring a
dog. Spend time with a dog before adopting it. Use
caution when a bringing a dog or puppy into the home of
an infant or toddler.
If you already have a dog, you can reduce
the chances of a bite occurring by following these
Spay/neuter your dog to reduce
Never leave infants or young children
alone with any dog, even a small dog.
Properly socialize and train any dog
entering the household.
Immediately seek professional advice
(e.g. veterinarian, animal behaviorist, animal
trainer) is the dog develops aggressive or
Do not play aggressive games with
your dog (e.g. wrestling).
Keep your dog on a leash when it is
off your property.
Teach children basic safety around
dogs and review regularly. Here are lessons for
- Never approach an unfamiliar
- Never run from a dog and
- Remain motionless when
approached by an unfamiliar dog (e.g. “be still
- If knocked over by a dog,
roll into a ball and lie still (e.g. “be still
like a log.”)
- Never play with a dog unless
supervised by an adult.
- Immediately report stray dogs
or dogs acting strangely to an adult.
- Avoid direct eye contact with
- Do not disturb a dog who is
sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
- Do not pet a dog without
allowing it to see and sniff you first.
- If bitten, immediately report
the bite to an adult.
Get the Facts
Animal Bites in Los Angeles County, 2009
To REPORT an animal bite to a person click
here. All bites are
legally reportable except rodent and rabbit bites.
Veterinary Public Health investigated to determine
whether the bite could have transmitted rabies.
Reporting an animal bite is not the same thing as
reporting a vicious animal, because all animals may bite
under certain circumstances.
To report a vicious animal you must contact your
animal control agency.
Dog Bite Prevention page
from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Dog Bite Prevention page
from the American Veterinary Medical Association
What You Should Know About Dog Bite Prevention
- The American Veterinary Medical Association
Lo que Usted Debe Saber Sobre La Prevención
de Mordeduras de Perro -
The American Veterinary Medical Association