How to Avoid Getting Bitten by a Dog and What to Do if it Happens


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Dogs bite an estimated five million people each year in the United States. Though most of them recover, unfortunately between 12 and 15 bite victims die per year due to infections. About half of Americans suffer a bite wound at least once in their lives, and they commonly come from dogs. There are a number of different reasons that a dog might bite someone, like if it feels threatened, it has a behavioral issue, or — in the worst cases — if it has rabies. One of the best things you can do is know how to avoid a dog bite for your own safety, and for that of the animal.

How to Avoid Getting Bitten

  • Never approach a dog while it is grooming itself, caring for it’s young, or eating, since these are times that an animal might be more defensive.
  • Don’t approach a strange dog if you can avoid it. If for some reason you can’t, proceed with caution and don’t make any sudden or threatening movements.
  • Read a dog’s body language. When animals are distressed, typically their hair is raised, their teeth are showing, and they may bark or growl. If this is the case, do not approach the animal.
  • Never leave small children or babies alone with an animal, especially one that you don’t know very well.

If You Are Bitten

  • Try to keep calm and do not scream or run from the animal as it may agitate it further.
  • Seek medical attention for any bite wounds or scratches.
  • Gather personal information from the dog’s owner and information about the dog itself and its health.
  • Report the bite to your local authorities.

If you have been bitten by a dog, you may also want to look for personal injury lawyers who specialize in that area of law. Liability in these cases can be very complicated, so if you think you may be due compensation, it’s best to get a professional opinion. Furthermore, only half of plaintiffs win personal injury lawsuits that go to trial, so you’ll want to have a professional in your corner. Read this for more.

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