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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

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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