National Dog Bite Prevention Week is from May 21 to 28, and the United States Postal Services is calling for the cooperation of dog owners to keep their pets restrained during mail delivery times.
More than four million people were bitten by dogs last year — half of them children, and 3,475 of them letter carriers.
You can help protect your letter carrier, meter reader or newspaper delivery person by making sure your pet is properly restrained or confined. Don’t think a fence is the only answer, especially if a letter carrier or delivery person has to enter your yard.
Here are some additional suggestions for responsible pet ownership:
- When your letter carrier comes to your home, keep your dog inside, away from the door, in another room or on a leash. Don’t allow your dog to bark, jump up against the door, or bite the mail as it comes through the mail slot. This will only teach your dog to attack the letter carrier.
- If your dog has to be out during mail delivery time, make sure he is fenced in an area that does not abut the path the mail carrier has to take in order to deliver your mail.
- Do not tie your dog near the mail receptacle.
- Do not let your child take mail from the letter carrier in the presence of your dog. Your dog’s instinct is to protect the family.
- Obedience training can teach your dog proper behavior and help you control your dog in any situation.
- Make sure your dog has had his shots and is licensed.
Posted: May 12, 2006, 5 a.m. EST