Dogs can be very lovable and friendly animals. However, dogs can also cause harm when they bite.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, approximately one in five people bitten by a dog will require medical attention. Most dog bite victims are children. Unfortunately, children are also more likely than adults to sustain major injuries when bitten by a dog.
Dogs can attack for many reasons. To guard against being bitten by an aggressive dog, keep the following tips in mind. Share them with your children and other family members as well to minimize the chances of those you love being harmed in dog bite incidents.
Know When You Should Not Approach a Dog
As a dog-lover, you may feel the urge to approach and pet any dog you see.
You shouldn’t always give into this urge. There are instances when it is not wise to approach and pet a dog. They include the following:
- When a dog is not with its owner or when its owner has not given you permission to approach the dog
- When a dog is sleeping
- When a dog is eating
- If a dog is playing, particularly if it’s playing with a chew toy or other such item
- If it appears the dog may be hiding
- If a dog appears to be injured or ill
- If a dog is with her puppies
Even otherwise friendly dogs can sometimes attack if they are approached at the wrong time or in the wrong setting. Generally, you should only approach and pet a dog when you have the owner’s permission to do so and you are very confident the dog is not going to bite you.
Try Not to Panic
It can be very difficult to remain calm when an unleashed dog is approaching you. This is particularly true if the dog is running.
Regardless, experts agree that maintaining your composure and staying as still as possible in these circumstances is much safer than attempting to run away. Don’t run from a dog unless you are absolutely certain you can get to a safe indoor spot before the dog reaches you.
Instead, stand upright and use a firm but measured tone of voice to tell the dog to sit or stay. Remain quiet otherwise, and don’t scream. You also should not make direct eye contact with the dog.
If you are with a child in a stroller, throw as many items at the dog as you can. This is also an instance when it is actually acceptable to yell at a dog. Throwing items and yelling at the animal could distract them and give you enough time to get to safety.
If you’re going to be in a setting where there is the possibility of coming across an unleashed dog, you might want to carry some dog treats with you in a sealed container. If a dog attacks you, you could distract them by grabbing several treats and throwing them at the dog. This may divert the dog’s attention and give you a chance to escape the situation.
That said, even if you apply these tips, it’s still possible you may one day be bitten by a dog whose owner is negligent. You deserve compensation for your medical bills and other such losses if this happens.
At the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg, a Los Angeles dog bite attorney is on hand to help you pursue the compensation you are owed when someone’s dog bites you. Learn more about how we can help by contacting us online or calling us at 310-997-0904.