Download pdf

According to a survey conducted by the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs annually, with 800,000 individuals—half of them children—requiring medical treatment. To help raise awareness of the issue, a resolution was introduced in Congress on Monday that recognizes National Dog Bite Prevention Week, May 20-26, 2007, and calls on communities to find local solutions to address the problem.
-Children should not approach, touch or play with any dog who is sleeping, eating or caring for puppies. -Children should not pet unfamiliar dogs without asking permission from the dog’s guardian first. If the guardian says it is okay, the child should first let the dog sniff his closed hand. -If a child sees a dog off-leash outside, he should tell an adult immediately. -If a loose dog comes near a child, she should not run or scream. Instead, she should avoid eye contact with the animal and stand very still, like a tree, until the animal moves away.
For more information, please visit
ASPCA.org, where you can download our Dog Bite Prevention activity worksheet.

Did you know that 50 percent of all children in the United States will be bitten by a dog before their 12th birthday? Did you know that 800,000 bites a year are severe enough to require medical treatment, while 1 to 2 milion go unreported?
The vast majority of dog bites are from a dog known to the child—his or her own pet, a neighbor's or friend's. You can help prevent this from happening to your child. Please discuss with him or her the appropriate way to behave around dogs. The following activity will help you and your child understand the difference between safe and potentially dangerous interactions with dogs.
The following is a list of pledges that you can recite with your child: 1. I will not stare into a dog's eyes. 2. I will not tease dogs behind fences. 3. I will not go near dogs chained up in yards. 4. I will not touch a dog I see loose (off-leash) outside. 5. If I see a loose dog, I will tell an adult immediately. 6. I will not run and scream if a loose dog comes near me. 7. I will stand very still (like a tree), and will be very quiet if a dog comes near me. 8. I will not touch or play with a dog while he or she is eating. 9. I will not touch a dog when he or she is sleeping. 10. I will only pet a dog if I have received permission from the dog's owner. 11. Then I will ask permission of the dog by letting him sniff my closed hand.


Activity Sheet
May I Pet the Dog?
Help your child understand the difference between safe and potentially dangerous interactions with dogs.

Download PDF

General Pet Care:
Dog Care
Cat Care
Horse Care
Small Pet Care
Poison Control
ASPCA Pet Insurance
Dog Behavior
Cat Behavior
Horse Behavior Q & A
Pet Care Tips:
Cutting Pet Care Costs
Nutrition Tips
Medical Tips
Air Travel Tips
Air Transportation
Incident Reports

Car Travel Tips
Automobile Safety Tips
Hot Weather Tips
Cold Weather Tips
Get Pet Care Tips
Text Messages

Ask the Experts:
Ask Dr. LaFarge
Behaviorists' Corner
Ask the Animal Poison Control Center
Ask the Pet Nutrition Service
More Info:
Free Rescue Sticker
Pet Loss
Pet Ownership in the U.S.

When you register on the ASPCA website, you can get our newsletter, lobby for humane laws, and shop for ASPCA gear. REGISTER NOW!

Get a Free Magnet
Order a Free Sticker
- Send ASPCA eCards
Download Wallpaper
Free ASPCA Toolbar