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How to handle a dog bite

Dogs are the top pet in the country, with millions of households calling at least one a part of the family. With so many dogs around, there is an increasing risk of a scary encounter.

It may not take much for you to find yourself on the wrong end of a situation with a dog. Knowing what to do should you find yourself the victim of a bite is essential to preserving your rights.

Understand the reasons dogs bite

Dogs typically bite for a reason. While more aggressive breeds do exist, not all dogs in any one breed are bad. The top reasons dogs lash out include the following:

  • They feel threatened or scared of something or someone
  • Someone taunts them
  • A person startles them
  • There is something wrong health-wise
  • They feel stressed
  • Someone is mistreating them at home

Protect yourself against a bite

The best course of action to take when faced with a dog that may seem aggressive is to try and de-escalate the situation. While you cannot have a conversation with a dog, you can speak in a calming and soothing tone. If this does not get the dog to relax towards you, then slowly back away from the animal. Do not run or make loud noises. These will only provoke further aggression aimed at you.

Take these steps if a dog bites you

A dog bite is a serious medical issue and requires a trip to the hospital or doctor for a checkup. A dog's saliva is teeming with bacteria that is good for the dog, but bad for people. If you sustain a bite, the best course of action is to seek medical attention. Call the police immediately following the bite, and file a report. If you know the dog that bit you, provide the owner's information. If you do not see where the dog came from, give an accurate description of the animal and the location where the event occurred.

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