Dog bites are a hazard that concerns most mail carriers. In 2019, at least 5,800 mail carriers were attacked by dogs while doing their jobs. Many of these accidents could have been prevented. Mail carriers are trained in how to observe animal-related hazards and avoid a possible attack. Similarly, the USPS offers advice for consumers who have animals on how to protect their mail carrier.
Let’s look at some dog bite prevention tips for dog owners and mail carriers that can help prevent injuries.
Dog Bite Prevention Tips for Dog Owners
Your dog’s protective stance can, unfortunately, be a potential hazard to your mail carrier. It is important to consider this when training your dog. Some things you can do to help prevent a dog bite to your mail carrier include:
- Train your dog to respond appropriately to commands.
- Don’t allow your dog to roam freely outside.
- Socialize your dog as much as possible.
- When a mail carrier approaches, close your dog in another room so you can handle business without interruption.
- Remind your children not to take mail from a mail carrier in front of the family dog. Dogs sometimes see this interaction as a threat.
If your dog is aggressive or the mail carrier feels threatened, you may be asked to pick up your mail at your local Post Office, rather than it being delivered.
Dog Bite Prevention Tips for Mail Carriers
As you are delivering mail, be alert for the presence of dogs. Always respect a dog’s territory. Prevent possible dog attacks by doing the following:
- Do not startle a dog, especially if it is sleeping.
- Always keep an eye on the dog if it moves around.
- Never assume a dog is friendly and won’t bite you.
- Call the dog by name if you know it. Talk to the dog in a friendly manner.
- Never attempt to feed or pet a dog.
Mail carriers are generally trained to place something between them and a dog who may be aggressive, such as a package or a mail satchel.