A dog bite is among the most emotionally traumatic injuries a person can face. Although dog bites are rarely fatal, they can cause severe pain and scarring. Worse, a dog bite attack quickly turns “man’s best friend” into a source of fear and terror – a situation that, especially for young children, can cause anxiety for years after the actual injury.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) provides a number of tips for families who are seeking to protect themselves from ever having to experience the pain and fear of a dog bite. The vast majority of those who suffer dog bite injuries every year are children. By following a few simple, common-sense steps, you can help protect the kids and adults you care about from these injuries.
- Remember that any dog can bite. Even very sweet-tempered dogs may bite if provoked. Learning “good manners” around dogs can help reduce provocation and thus reduce the chances of a bite.
- Socialize and train dogs. Puppies should be socialized from a very young age so they are comfortable around humans. Training should include commands like “sit,” “stay,” “no” and “come.” Always use a leash when you and your dog go out in public.
- Learn to “speak dog.” Dogs often demonstrate anxious or aggressive body language before they actually bite. Learn to read the body language that says when your dog is happy and relaxed and when it is worried, fearful or angry.
- Practice “good manners” when meeting or living with dogs. Stay still if a dog approaches to sniff you. Leave dogs alone when they are eating, sleeping or caring for puppies. And always ask a dog’s owner before you extend your hand to a dog to sniff or before petting a dog.
If you are seeking compensation for damages incurred in a dog bite incident, contact Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP to get the legal guidance you need to establish a successful claim.