5 Things You Should Know About Dog Bites
Dogs are considered to be man’s best friend. They add so much value to a person’s life and, therefore, are great companions. It’s not surprising that they’re the most popular type of pet. In fact, over 60 million households in the US have at least one dog.
However, while dogs can be loyal companions, they’re also known to cause injuries through biting, especially when not trained properly.
There are many reasons why a dog bites, as well as techniques to avoid getting bitten. There are also immediate steps that one should take from a legal standpoint after getting bitten or attacked by a dog. Read this post here to understand how a law firm or legal professional can help in this situation. Educating yourself about these topics can lessen the chances of you or your family member being involved in a potentially threatening encounter with your or someone else’s dog. Being aware of your legal rights can also help you claim compensation when warranted.
But in the unfortunate event that you or someone in your family do get bitten, here are five things you should know:
- Why Dogs Attack
Dogs may attack humans or even other animals for a variety of reasons. The following animalistic instincts may lead to the aggressive behaviour dogs sometimes show.
- Unusual human/animal activity and noise within the household
- Territorial behaviour towards people, spaces, food, and/or objects
- Fear of people, certain items, and spaces
- A history of trauma that leads to fear and anxiety in dogs
- Pain from illness or injury
But aside from those common reasons, dogs may also bite or nip in an attempt to play, which commonly happens with young children. That’s why it’s essential to create boundaries when playing with dogs, such as not getting too close to the animal’s face or trying to grab something straight from a dog’s mouth.
Another reason why dogs attack is when a person walks up to them while they’re sleeping. It may startle them and cause them to react instinctively in defense. Sneaking up on a dog is never a good idea, especially if it isn’t your pet.
It’s also important to remember that the aggressive tendencies of dogs won’t always be obvious. They can be due to a combination of different reasons, so always be extra vigilant.
- Warning Signs That A Dog Is Aggressive
Some signs will help people know that a dog is uncomfortable or in a potentially aggressive state. These warning signs usually show through the animal’s body language or behavior.
Some of these include:
- Territorial behavior: Barking, growling, snarling, tensed body, raised fur, and mouthing or nipping. Dogs are naturally territorial and will protect and defend their property from other animals or humans.
- Signs of fear: Snarling, growling, whimpering, scratching, biting, pouncing, backing away, hiding, retreating, raised fur, and tense body language. An altogether new experience or previous trauma are the most common causes of fear in dogs. Unusual people, objects, spaces, and noises can be overwhelming for them, especially if they’re not part of their daily routine. On the other hand, previous trauma can come in many forms, including witnessing a traumatic event in the household, being in a noisy or stressful situation, and experiencing aggressive behaviour from humans or other animals.
These behaviours aren’t necessarily a sign of impending aggression. It’s an important thing to note when observing the animal’s body language. If your pet shows some of the warning signs discussed above, it may not attack you or someone else right away. However, it should encourage you to talk with your local veterinarian to find out how to correct the behaviour or make some changes to your pet’s environment at home.
- How To Avoid Getting Bitten By A Dog
The truth is that most dog bites are preventable. However, because most dog bites are inflicted by family dogs, according to DogsBite, there’s a lot of responsibility in being a dog owner. That’s why it’s essential to choose a breed that’ll suit your family/living situation best and seek out proper training. Being sensitive to your pet’s behaviour, especially when there are changes, and understanding their history can also make a difference.
Do these things to avoid getting bitten by a dog:
- Educate yourself. There’s a good chance you’ll encounter a dog at some point, whether or not it’s your pet. A great way to avoid getting bitten is to learn how to introduce yourself and interact with the animal appropriately. If you have children, educate them as well.
- Socialise your dog. It’s crucial for dog owners to socialise their pets from a young age. Help your dog become more comfortable in situations where they encounter new people and/or animals by getting them used to being around humans as well as other pets.
- Be aware of the dog’s body language. You already know that body language and behaviour can tell many things about an animal’s aggressiveness. A dog is on edge when they’re barking, growling, their fur is standing up, their tail is sticking straight out, and/or they’re in a protective stance when in front of their owner. A dog that’s showing any of these signs must never be approached.
It’s also best not to disturb a dog if it’s with its puppies, eating, or playing with a toy; these situations may seem unthreatening, but dogs may still be dangerous if they appear to want to be alone.
- What To Do After Getting Bitten By A Dog
Unfortunately, a person might still get bitten even after doing all he can to protect himself.
The first thing to do is get medical attention as soon as possible to prevent infections and treat injuries. If the dog that attacked you doesn’t belong to you, take pictures of your wounds to have evidence if ever your case qualifies for a personal injury lawsuit. Also, don’t forget to get the contact information of the dog’s owner. Obtaining the contact information of the witness/witnesses is also essential. More importantly, you’ll need to report the incident to the authorities to prevent the same dog from injuring other people.
- Who To Contact After A Dog Bite
People have every right to sue the dog’s owner for any injuries their dog has caused. If you’re attacked without provocation, the owner is liable. That’s why calling a dog bite attorney and seeking legal counsel is a crucial step to take. With an experienced lawyer, you may receive compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and even emotional distress.
Dog bites are scary and traumatic. Getting attacked by a dog is likely to cause significant physical, emotional, and mental damage to the victim. To avoid the likelihood of getting bitten, people must understand why dogs bite and learn to identify the warning signs of aggression to avoid getting bitten. What you do and who you contact after a dog bite are also important. Make sure that you get medical attention right away and talk with a personal injury attorney for legal counsel.