Postal workers return to a delivery office in west London
Almost 2,500 post men and women were attacked by a dog while at work last year Reuters

Almost 2,500 post men and women were attacked by a dog while at work last year – an average of seven a day.

The Royal Mail said the figure of 2,471 dog attacks is down 7% compared to a year ago, but adds that number "is still too high". It said these attacks can lead to permanent and disabling injury.

The body has launched its fifth annual Dog Awareness Week, from 3 July to 8 July, backed by TV presenter Paul O'Grady, who fronts ITV's For The Love of Dogs.

Most attacks happen in the summer when parents and children are at home and dogs feel particularly protective of their territory, said Royal Mail.

It added that 41% of attacks come at the door, 30% in the garden, 16% in the street while 13% of post men and women are bitten thorough the letterbox.

The letter and parcels firm said 90% of injuries were bites, amounting to 2,233 dog bites last year. In total Royal Mail workers lost 1,750 days recovering from bites, fractures and bruises in 2016.

It said two workers suffered amputations after a particularly vicious dog attacks last year.

O'Grady said: "No one should feel unsafe while doing their job, including postmen.

"As owners it's our responsibility to train our pets to behave appropriately around strangers. Encourage good behaviour and spend time getting your pets familiar with people visiting the house."

Royal Mail operations director Rob Jenson added: "While the number of dog attacks on postmen and women has fallen in the last year, the numbers are still far too high. Our postmen and women need to be able to deliver the service they provide to communities across the UK, without the risk of injury."