For pet lovers, bits come unexpectedly because they don’t see dogs as dangerous animals. Whenever they see a four-legged friend, they pet them and play with them because most dogs are docile and loving.
But sometimes dogs bite people, and sometimes they even hurt their owners. Dog bites can happen anywhere, on the street, in the park, at your friends’ house.
No matter if you love or only tolerate dogs, a bite is usually a traumatic event because it causes emotional and physical injuries. There are few things as disconcerting as an unknown dog to bite you.
Often panic hits when you see them launching towards you because you expect the episode to be traumatic. And the larger the pet, the more extensive the injuries are.
Despite the terror, you feel when the dog attacks you, try to maintain your composure to minimize the consequences. This article should help you figure out what to do if a dog bites you.
In the immediate aftermath of the accident, ensure your safety. Overreacting can provoke the dog and cause more extensive wounds, so it’s best to limit your reaction and maintain your calm.
Screams or physical reprimands often make the situation worse because the pet sees your actions as an escalation of aggressive behavior. And animals respond with aggressivity to violence.
Try to retreat in a place where the dog cannot reach you if they attacked you on the street, and the owner is not in sight. Taking space from the dog keeps you safe from another attack.
Once you put a barrier between yourself and the dog, assess the wounds and call your doctor to determine if you should get to their office or the emergency room. If you can reach the dog owner, ask them if the canine is current in their rabies vaccination and if they have other medical conditions that can affect your health.
Regardless of the severity of the wound, manage it as soon as possible because the risk of infection is high with animal-provoked injuries. If your physician recommends consulting a doctor, do it within eight hours of the incident. 50% of dog bites introduce bacteria in your body even if they are current in their vaccines and treatment.
If you cannot immediately reach your doctor and suffered a minor injury like a scratch or scrape, clean and disinfect the lesion area and apply a topical antibiotic.
Deeper wounds require bleeding out to remove some of the bacteria from your system. After 5 minutes of bleeding, apply pressure to the laceration with a clean cloth, once the bleeding stops use warm water and mild soap to clean it.
Don’t use rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide for puncture wounds because they worsen the symptoms. For open wounds, you should also avoid bandaging because the cloth can stick to your tissue.
Report the dog bite
After you get medical help and are no longer at risk of experiencing infections, take additional action to ensure that the dog doesn’t hurt someone else.
It’s always best to exchange contacts with the owner and provide the information to your attorney, to assist you in the process.
Even if the injury is minor, report the incident with the local authorities, people should always control their pets, and a warning from the local police can prevent another accident. Get in touch with the local animal control if you cannot identify the dog owner because they can remove them from the streets.
The laws state that the keeper of the pet is liable for any injury they cause. If you don’t have an attorney, Jones Kahan Law recommends hiring an expert to determine if you can file a lawsuit against the harborer of the pet.
In some states, you can bring a lawsuit even against the individual who supervises the pet at the moment, not only on their owner. For this step, you need documentation of the incident to prove the extent of injury the bite caused.
Can you prevent a dog bite?
It’s always better to prevent injuries than to treat them. Dog bites are upsetting and painful at their least, and traumatic at their worst. Sometimes they can even cause death, especially when the victim is a child.
What can you do to prevent a dog bite? The key lies in modifying your behavior to stay alert. If you are an animal lover and you often pet cats and dogs when you cross paths, it’s best to do it slowly and try to determine if they are ready for direct contact.
When the pet doesn’t approach you first, please don’t push it because many aren’t accustomed to human interaction. Even if the pet looks friendly, keep your distance, especially if it’s a strange pet, you’ve never seen before.
It would be best if you never left a child unsupervised around an unfamiliar dog because pets can interpret it as threatening some of their actions.
It would help if you never interfered with a pet when they are eating or feeding their puppies. Even if you just adopted the dog, and they have an overall amicable behavior, you should keep a distance from them when they perform one of the above actions.
It’s best to adopt a young dog, but if you prefer an adult one, choose one with a good temperament, and wait for them to trust you before invading their space. When around an aggressive dog, remain calm and try to refrain from panic.
Most dogs don’t jump to bite you, the moment they see you. They bark and approach you. Your attitude can influence their behavior, so don’t shout at them, speak mildly to them, move slowly towards a place that can guard you against an attack, and avoid eye contact.
Always fire a report when you encounter a dog that may be dangerous even if they don’t hurt you. Sometimes dogs only chase people and exhibit an aggressive attitude without biting.
They still are hazardous for people, and animal control can manage the situation and remove them from the streets.