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Each year, more than 4.5 million people are bit by a dog in the U.S., according to the American Humane Association. A dog bite can be traumatizing, but there are several safety measures that you can employ to lessen the odds and ensure safety.

Pet Safety Rules

Children two and younger should always be supervised around dogs.

Teach your child to never approach a strange dog that is in a car or on a chain.

Dogs that are eating or playing with toys should not be bothered.

It’s important to teach your children that it’s never okay to slap, kick, hit or pull on a dogs ears or tails.

Dog Bite Laws

The laws on dog bites vary from state to state. In some states the owner can be held responsible for an injury regardless of if the dog has shown any previous negative behavior. This is referred to as “strict liability.” Using this theory, even if the owner had no reason to know his animal posed a threat, should the animal bite someone, the owner would be held liable. However it is often a gray area because it can be difficult to discern if the owner was aware of the dogs aggressive behavior.

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