Dog Bite Prevention Week

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Story Updated: May 27, 2014

Usually, a dog is man's best friend. But sometimes not so much.

In fact, every year roughly 800,000 Americans have to be treated for a dog bite with children and the elderly particularly vulnerable.

Enter the American Academy of Pediatrics which is sharing canine safety tips during Dog Bite Prevention Week. The Academy advises dog lovers to hold off on getting Fido until their children are at least 4 and to never leave their baby or child alone with a dog unsupervised. Owners are also encouraged to vaccinate their pets, use leashes in public and to start training at a young age. The goal: to teach puppies obedience while helping them to learn to feel comfortable around people.

For the rest of us it's best not to overly excite or disturb dogs particularly when they're enclosed behind a fence, or busy caring for their offspring.

And when threatened, try not to react by running or screaming. Instead, stay calm, avoid eye contact, and speak firmly until Fido finally decides to move on.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with news from today that can lead to healthy tomorrows.

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