Experts say dog bites more likely in summer - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Ability to read a dog's body language can keep you safe

Experts say dog bites more likely in summer

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They are often referred to as man's best friend.  Yet, man is often who is responsible for causing dogs to bite.

"You should always look at any dog having the potential to bite, even dogs that you know have been around the family for years," said Deputy and Kennel Manager Rick Tunison with the Mahoning County Dog Pound.

Tunison says dogs are a lot like people.  They enjoy their personal space and typically communicate when feeling threatened.  It's when people disregard those boundaries and ignore those warnings when the bite occurs.  Dogs may also bite when they are protecting their toys or food.

"You can read the dog's body language.  They will usually bow their head down.  They will look at you.  You will see the white of their eyes.  Their hair will bristle.  Growling is a pretty eminent sign that it is coming," said Tunison.

Each year, nearly four and a half million Americans are bitten by dogs. Bites tend to increase during the summer months.  Children, by far, are the most common victims because experts say they don't understand how to properly interact with dogs.

"Children a lot of times don't understand dog behavior.  They are very high energy.  They are constantly running.  Those things are appealing to dogs," said Tunison.

Tunison says people should never encourage a dog to play in an aggressive manner.  If a person is bitten, it is recommended they seek medical attention to prevent infection.  In Mahoning County, dogs who bite humans are quarantined for 10 days.

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