Any dog can bite, but nearly every dog bite is preventable. That is the message promoted during National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which begins on April 12. Millions of people are bitten by dogs every year, resulting in hundreds of thousands of emergency room visits and hundreds of deaths. Dogs, pet owners, and everyone else all need to be trained to avoid injuries. Dogs of every breed are capable of biting, not just large or aggressive breeds. One big reason on why we should focus on preventing dog bites: the age range most susceptible to serious dog bite injuries are children under the age of three.
Education and awareness can dramatically reduce the risk of being bitten by a dog. Adults should learn these behaviors and teach them to children.
- Avoid approaching unfamiliar dogs
- If an unfamiliar dog approaches you, avoid making sudden movements and noises – don’t run away or attempt to scare off the dog
- If an unfamiliar dog knocks you over, continue to avoid making sudden movements and noises – curl into a ball and remain still
- If you see an unattended dog behaving unusually, contact authorities
- Avoid making eye contact with unfamiliar dogs – it could be perceived as a threat
- Do not get between two dogs that are playing or fighting – the dogs may bite you unintentionally
- Avoid petting unfamiliar or unattended dogs, especially if they are restrained
- Let sleeping dogs lie is an idiom for a reason – startled dogs can attack
- Avoid approaching unfamiliar dogs that are eating or nursing
We understand that petting all the dogs is a goal for many people, but everyone must be vigilant to avoid dog bites. Try to pet all the well-behaved dogs who are attended by their masters, who incidentally have also given permission to pet the dog! Speaking of masters, pet owners must take certain steps to train their dogs to prevent them from biting others. Failure to properly train a dog could lead to financial liability in the event of a dog bite.
- Spay and neuter your dogs – dogs that are ‘fixed’ exhibit lower rates of aggression
- Avoid rough play, which could encourage dogs to behave aggressively
- When adopting a dog or puppy, bond with it before it comes in to contact with younger children
- Do not leave your dog chained up outside – ‘outside dogs’ can have socialization issues and aggressive tendencies
- Do not let children play your dog
- Do not leave children or infants alone with your dog
- Train your dog that growling or baring teeth is bad
- If you are struggling to train your dog, enlist the help of a professional dog trainer
Though it is the goal of National Dog Bite Prevention Week to lower the number of dog bites close to zero, dog bites do happen. Except in extreme circumstances, when dog bites occur, the dog’s owner is held liable for the injuries of the dog bite victim. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth has previously posted about what do to if you have bitten by a dog. Our personal injury attorneys can help you seek medical treatment and obtain financial compensation for your dog bite. Call us today at 888-517-9888 to speak with an injury expert.