According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 12,000 people across the United States are bitten by dogs each day. One out of five of these bites becomes infected, which can lead to serious health consequences, including hospitalization.
Any dog, regardless of size, sex, breed, or age, can bite. Even if you are approached by a small dog with an unthreatening appearance, you should still take the proper precautions.
Here are a few tips that can help you avoid serious dog bites:
- Do not approach dogs you do not know: There is no way of knowing how aggressive a dog might be, so if you see a stray dog it is best to avoid them altogether to prevent you or a loved one from being attacked.
- Do not take bones, food or toys away from a dog: Dogs can be very territorial. Taking away their food or toys can cause them to go on the offensive and bite to protect their possessions.
- Let a dog sniff you before you pet it: Dogs “get to know” people by becoming familiar with their scent. Letting a dog sniff you first is a good way to earn their trust before trying to pet them.
- If a dog approaches you, do not run away: The best thing you can do when a dog is approaching you and you are scared is to stand completely still. If you run, the dog may try to chase whether and could bite either in an aggressive manner or as their way of “playing” around.
- If a dog attacks you, put an object between you: Try to grab anything you can get your hands on – a bag, a jacket, a pillow, etc. – and shove it between you and the dog that is attempting to bite you.
- If a dog knocks you over, curl up into a ball: If you are on the floor and a dog is attempting to bite you, the best thing for you to do is to roll up in a ball and cover your ears.
- Do not leave children unattended with dogs: To help your children stay safe, it is important to teach them these dog bite prevention techniques, and to never leave them unattended with a dog that could bite them.
Share these tips with your children and remember them yourself when you’re approached by a dog – they could help prevent dog bites and the physical, emotional and financial trauma that comes with them. But, if you are the victim of a dog bite, call Bressman Law for a free consultation at 614-538-1116.