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Kelly & West News

Dog Bites: How to Prevent Them and Steps to Take if You get One

Spring is on its way! This means warmer weather and people spend more time outside going on walks, heading to parks and riding bikes. Everyone seems to be out and about, often bringing their kids and dogs with them. One drawback of this situation is the number of dog bites that occur each year, especially around springtime.

According to the Centers for Disease and Control, “Approximately 4.7 million dog bites occur in the United States each year, and 800,000 of those bites result in medical care.”

We have compiled some information about what to do after being bitten by a dog and prevention methods for the future.

Steps to Take After Being Bitten by a Dog

  • Talk with the Owner – Immediately after an incident, discuss with the owner as to whether they have homeowner’s insurance or animal liability insurance. This information is important to start a case. Any information the owner can give you about the dog’s medical records or history will be helpful.
  • Document the Situation – Take photos of the setting, the dog and the actual bite prior to leaving the scene. Write down all information valid to the dog bite situation, possibly consulting others who were there during the incident. This is very helpful if you are to pursue a case.
  • Medical Assistance – Even if the bite seems minor, it is best to visit a healthcare provider after an incident. You may not be aware of possible diseases contracted from a dog. A healthcare provider will be able to fully clean the wound and give other treatments if necessary.

How to Prevent a Dog Bite

Ask Permission – It can be easy to see and dog and immediately want to run up and pet it. Prior to interacting with any dog, ask permission from the owner for the safety of everyone.

Do Not Disturb
– If a dog is in the middle of another activity, refrain from interacting with the dog. Some dogs do not like to be disturbed while they are eating, drinking or sleeping.

Keep Moving – Often, dogs are tied up and left unattended while their owner is in a shop or restaurant. It is best to not interact with them, no matter how kind the dog seems.

Although every situation is not 100% preventable, following these methods will decrease your likelihood of getting bit by man’s best friend.

Two Truths and a Lie:

✘ Pitbulls and German Shepherds are the only dogs that are involved in dog bite accidents. This is a myth.

✔ All dogs are capable of biting, even well-trained dogs.

✔ Dog bites can be dangerous, seek medical assistance after an incident.

We hope these questions and answers gave you a better idea of what you should do after being bitten by a dog. As you spend more time outside in the spring, keep these preventative methods in mind in order to be able to fully enjoy the season.

Contact us today if you have more questions about a dog bite situation!

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