A dog bite can be a terrifying experience for anyone, especially for children. But there are ways to avoid them. Doing so involves acting sensibly around dogs, knowing the signs of an imminent attack and taking preventative measures.
Act Sensibly Around Dogs
The first step towards avoiding dog bites is to act appropriately around dogs to avoid causing them distress. This involves respecting the dog’s space. Never approach a dog suddenly if you are not familiar with it, and be especially wary if a dog is tied up.
Don’t surprise a dog at any time, even if it is your own dog. Coming up behind a dog to pet it can give it a shock and it could react by biting, especially if it is sleeping. Let the dog see you and sniff you before you approach it. Also don’t disturb a dog while it is playing with a toy or with its puppies. Dogs can also become very defensive over their food, so leave them alone while they are eating.
Signs to Watch Out For
Sometimes you can see the signs that a dog is getting ready to bite, so look out for these. Some of the most common signs include:
- Ears pulled back
- Gums pulled back over teeth
- Tense body and tail
- Staring intensely
- Eyes rolled back
If you spot any of these signs in a dog, put some space between it and you. However, don’t turn around and don’t run because that can encourage the dog to chase you. Instead, walk backwards slowly and don’t make any sudden movements.
If a dog approaches you and you think it may bite, don’t scream and don’t run away. Simply stay still and avoid eye contact.
Preventative Tips for Your Own Dog
The truth is that dog bites are most common at home. Often, bites are the result of a dog getting overexcited while playing, and they are not that serious. However, bites can be serious at home so you should do what you can to avoid them.
Part of this involves acting sensibly around your dog, as explained earlier. However, you can also take other preventative action.
One thing to do is teach your dog to be submissive from a young age. Train it to roll over onto its back, which is a submissive action that helps to let the dog know who is boss. You can find some more tips on how to do this for a dominant dog at Cesar’s Way.
You can also get your dog spayed or neutered to stop them from being overly excitable. Also make sure you visit the vet regularly. Sometimes dogs can become more aggressive as they get older, and your vet can provide treatment to reduce any problems your dog is facing.
Finally, never leave children alone with dogs. Children are far more likely to provoke a dog unwittingly, increasing the chance that they could get bitten.
What to Do If You Are Bitten
If you do get bitten, wash the wound with soap and warm water and go to A&E. You may need to take antibiotics or to receive other treatment like stitches. If the dog was not your own, contact the police and provide them with all the information you can.
You may even want to claim compensation. A dog attack is a terrifying experience that can leave you with debilitating injuries. Taking legal action against an irresponsible dog owner may be the right thing to do if you are bitten by a dog.
Act Sensibly Around Dogs
Use the tips above to avoid dog bites at all costs. Act sensibly around dogs, and always be alert to the signs. If a dog shows any of the signs that it is uncomfortable and could bite, stay calm, back off and diffuse the situation.
Eleanor Connolly is a nurse. When not working you’ll find her walking her 2 beloved dogs or writing which is her other passion. Inspired by the events of the day Eleanor writes on a variety of topics, normally involving health, and has had her pieces published on a number of blogs.