Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Stay calm. Anxiety in men makes them more prone to dog bites

Anxious people more likely to be bitten by dogs study suggests Anxious people more likely to be bitten by dogs study suggests Credit Getty
Melissa Porter | 04 February, 2018, 11:22

"Most dog bites aren't going to put you in hospital ... but I don't think that means that we shouldn't try and prevent them", she said.

"Neuroticism is well known to be linked to public health behaviours and outcomes perhaps then this aspect of personality may be linked to performing behaviours that provoke dog bites".

Also, current owners of multiple dogs were 3.3 times more likely to report having been bitten than people not now owning a dog.

The team also found that those who rated themselves as more calm or emotionally stable in the survey's questionnaire were less likely to report having been bitten by a dog.

People who owned several dogs were more than 3 times as likely to have been bitten as those who didn't own dogs.

More than half of respondents reported that they had been bitten by a dog they did not know and one in four respondents said they had been bitten before.

Because showing anxiety significantly raises the risk of suffering a dog bite.

Prior research in children from 2003 revealed that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder increased the risk of bites, and the authors of this paper said that being nervous or anxious could explain an increase in bite risk.

An estimate of approximately 19 dog bites per 1000 population per year and only a very small proportion require hospital admission.

The researchers also found dog bites were more common than thought.

Right away, the researchers found that the rate of dog-bite incidents reported by Cheshire residents greatly exceeded the national average indicated by official hospital records.

Though this study was based on a small sample population, its findings line up with other research. For one, men were almost twice as likely as women to have been bitten in their lifetimes. In the USA, the risk of a dog bite seems to be just as common. "There is also some suggestion that nervous and anxious people are more likely to have nervous dogs, whether that is through acquiring dogs with similar personalities, or through effects of their behaviour on each other".

"Reporting being less emotionally stable was associated with an increased frequency of dog bites and so was being male", they write.

The researchers are suggesting that in future dog bite prevention schemes may need to concentrate on how different people behave when they are around dogs.

Of course, there are plenty of prudent steps dog owners and admirers alike can take to lower the risk of a bite. Hot spots? Rashes? Soothe your dog's skin, treat any infection and help them to heal with our itchy pup combo kit, featuring all-natural #SpruceUpPup shampoo bar for full body treatments and #SkinSoother healing balm for spot treatments.

"Our findings suggest that the less anxious, irritable and depressed a person is, the less likely they are to have been bitten", Westgarth said.