Dog bites and other infectious diseases are rising around the country and experts say homeowners should consider taking precautions to protect their pets.
The number of dog bites has doubled since 2008 in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We’ve seen the number of people with dog bites rise in the last decade, which is really a concern because we are seeing a rise in dog bites in our homes,” said Dr. Joseph S. Miller, a veterinarian and public health consultant who has been studying the issue for decades.
Dog owners should take the following precautions to keep their pets healthy and to prevent infections: Be prepared to wash your hands and clothes after handling your dog.
Wash your hands with soap and water, put them in the sink, and use a warm washcloth to wipe down your hands.
Do not allow your dog to be in contact with other pets, especially children and pets.
Do everything possible to prevent your pet from contracting diseases from contact with people, including keeping pets inside, keeping their outdoor space clean and keeping pets away from people.
If you are concerned that your pet has contracted a disease from someone, get your pet tested and treat the dog.
For dogs that are sick, treat them by spraying them with water and using a syringe.
If a dog gets sick, it can be treated by taking them to a veterinarian, who can take a blood test to see if they have the infection.
Never let your pet leave your home alone with other people, pets or other people’s pets, including children.
Dogs should not be left alone alone with children or other dogs, and they should be kept at least 4 feet away from other pets.
Keep pets away at night and during the day.
Dogs are known to be territorial and can attack and bite people.
Be sure to get your dog vaccinated against rabies before leaving your home.
Follow the recommendations of your vet to determine whether or not your dog is at risk for an infection.
If you have any questions or concerns about any of these tips, please contact the CDC’s Veterinary Disease Response Center at (202) 622-4236.