This year has been difficult for everybody, including dogs. With all of the stress that the events of the year have brought, it probably comes as no surprise that the instance of dog bites has gone up as well. This pattern is particularly salient considering the instance of dog bites among children.
Experts have offered various hypotheses as to why this might be the truth. According to the National Institutes of Health, extended time at home and heightened stress levels are likely reasons that dogs are biting more often in 2020.
How much has the dog biting instance increased?
A children’s hospital in Colorado reported that their instance of dog bites among children had increased nearly three-fold in 2020 as compared to earlier years. Also unusual is that the rate kept on increasing past the normal summer levels: typically dog bites happen most often in summer, but 2020 has broken this pattern.
Why are dogs biting more?
The year has also been stressful in many respects for humans. Many dog experts believe that the dogs have picked up on these higher stress levels and are reacting accordingly. Additionally, the closing of school systems in many areas has put children in the home 24/7 with the dogs, which naturally increases the likelihood of biting.
Furthermore, due to increased stress levels and at-home responsibilities on the part of parents, there has been a natural decrease in adult supervision. The best way to prevent dog bites among children is to ensure that a responsible adult is always supervising the kids around the pets.