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Preventing Animal Bites

Each year the Health Unit responds to hundreds of animal bites. Along with the pain and possible emotional and physical scarring caused by a bite is the risk of exposure to rabies.

What Can I Do to Reduce My Chances of Being Bitten?

Many biting and scratching incidents are preventable. Follow these tips to protect yourself:

  • Ask animal owners if it is okay to approach or pet their dog when they are on a leash
  • Stay away from wild, stray or unknown animals
  • Never leave small children unattended in the presence of an animal
  • Don’t disturb an animal that is eating, sleeping or caring for its young or is exhibiting signs of illness
  • Avoid running past a dog as they like to chase things
  • Never reach through a fence or enter a home unannounced as dogs may be protective of their territory and may feel you are a threat

NEW – April 2024: ANY DOG MAY BITE: Safety Guidelines for Prevention of Dog Bites

  • If you are a veterinarian office, pet shop, animal shelter, dog groomer or any business or agency who would like to help prevent dog bites, please print the health unit’s ANY DOG MAY BITE poster and post in your business for the public to see! Help prevent dog bites and the physical and emotional trauma and risk of rabies associated with them.

What Can I Do If I Am Threatened By a Dog?

If threatened by a dog, avoid eye contact, speak firmly, stay still until the dog leaves, or back away, don’t turn and run.

  • If you are knocked down, curl up in a ball and cover your head and neck.
  • If you are bitten, clean the wound, try to determine who the owner of the animal is.
  • Seek medical attention and report the bite to the Health Unit.

What Can I Do As a Pet Owner?

Be a responsible pet owner:

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