Dog bite injuries afflict 4.5 million Americans each year. Approximately 800,000 of these injured people need medical treatment for the bites. The overwhelming majority of dog bite injury victims are young children under 5. Although dog bites rarely cause death, they often inflict severe pain and create a fear of dogs that can linger for years – sometimes, for a child’s entire life. Consequently, experienced Texas dog bite injury lawyers are dedicated to helping families live safely with man’s best friend.
You can help prevent dog bite injuries in a number of ways. Whether or not you own a dog, consider implementing these safety tips:
First, teach kids “doggy etiquette,” including:
- Never run up to or pet a strange dog. Instead, stay still and let the dog come to you.
- Always ask permission from a dog’s owner before petting it. If the owner says no, listen!
- Hold out your hand and let the dog sniff it. Wait for the “okay” signs from the dog – these include smiling, panting, rubbing against your hand or leg, or play-bowing.
- If a dog gives “no” signs, do not pet it. These include a steady stare, a stiff body, or flattening the ears and looking from the corners of the eyes.
- Leave the dog alone when it is busy. Never bother a dog that is eating, sleeping, or caring for its puppies.
Next, if you plan to adopt a dog, plan ahead:
- Work with a local animal shelter or reputable breeder to choose a breed of dog whose needs and temperament mesh well with those of your family.
- Spend time with the dog before adopting it.
- Watch your family members. If they seem apprehensive around the dog, wait. A frightened family member can easily scare a dog into biting without meaning to do so.
- Get your new dog spayed or neutered, and avoid playing aggressive games.
- Make sure your new dog is trained and socialized properly.
If you or a family member suffers a dog bite due to the negligence of another party, please contact the personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of W.T. Johnson for assistance with your injury claim.