VVMA Dog Bite Prevention Program (under review and revision 11/2023)

BACKGROUND:

  • Children are, by far, the most common victims of dog bites and are far more likely to be severely injured.  Vermont has seen a sizeable increase in dog bites in the pediatric (1-4yo) cohort
  • Most dog bites affecting young children occur during everyday activities while interacting with familiar dogs
  • Majority of bites are preventable, so education is key!
  • From 2012-2016, over 550 Vermont children were treated at hospitals for dog bite wounds
  • Not included in that number: children who were bitten but medical help not sought/needed or actual contact did not occur. We can reasonably assume that there were more bites than the 550 documented along with attempted bites, air snaps, growls, and other unsafe interactions

OUR GOAL:

  • Educate parents, dog owners, toddlers, and elementary school-aged kids on how to safely interact with dogs to avoid bites
  • Reduce the number of bites/conflicts which will have a positive impact on children and families and the welfare of dogs

OUR VVMA POWERPOINT PROGRAM COVERS:

  • Kids and familiar dogs
  • Kids and loose dogs
  • Kids and unfamiliar dogs with their owners
  • Basic dog body language
  • Safe and unsafe situations
  • Take-home material for the kids

HOW THIS WORKS:

  • Unless the school will let you use their computer, you must have a laptop and have Microsoft PowerPoint installed on it.
  • Contact your local elementary school(s!) to arrange a time to present the PowerPoint program. Phone/email/letter (template available here)
  • Emphasize that this is a public service provided to the community by the Vermont Veterinary Medical Association. (Should a school wish to donate to offset the cost of take-home material, the cost of material is $8.00 for 50 cards. The check should be made out to Good Dog in a Box and mailed to the VVMA at 88 Beech Street, Essex Jct., VT 05452.)
  • Make sure the school has a connector cable compatible with your computer to allow you to connect to the school’s projector
  • Let VVMA Associate Director Linda Waite-Simpson know the approximate number of kids in the audience
  • Linda will mail you take-home dog safety cards as handouts for the kids
  • Click here for a Drop Box link to the PowerPoint program. You must download it to the computer in order to access the "presenter's view" (see below).

THE PRESENTATION:

 

  • Is 55 slides long, parts are interactive
  • Takes about 20 minutes to present
  • Is scripted so that you can either just read the slides or augment with additional text in the note section below the slides (best way to show is in “presenter’s view”, top right of PP screen)
  • If you can take a calm demo dog that would be great

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:

The VVMA gratefully acknowledges Good Dog In A Box.com and the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association for providing some of the content for our program.

CONTACTS:

Linda Waite-Simpson for sign-up, mailing, etc.
Pam Brown  for feedback
Lisa Nelson for feedback

We value your feedback so we can grow this program!
Thank you for your interest in the VVMA Dog Bite prevention program!

More information on Dog Bite Prevention is available in the VVMA's Resource section of this website.