One of the most common medical emergencies in the United States involves dog bites. Close to 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs annually. Sadly, many of the victims of a dog bite are often children, with boys being at higher risk than girls. Regardless of the breed, age, or personality of any dog, they can bite at any given time.
But why do dogs bite? To understand how to prevent dog bites, it’s of utmost importance to first know why dogs bite. Mostly, dogs bite because they are irritated. Biting is typically a protective mechanism that dogs use whenever they perceive danger. For instance, a dog will bite if you try to force it to move or do something against its will. In case you are a victim of a dog bite, you can always consult a dog bite attorney to help you with your case.
So, how do you prevent a dog from biting you? Here are five ways to prevent dog bites.
Avoid Risky Situations
Importantly, you should know how to avoid risky situations involving a dog. Before interacting with a dog, you should first determine whether it’s safe or if the dog is aggressive. For a dog to bite means that you were willing to be put into an uncomfortable situation.
A common scenario includes petting a strange dog that is not with its owner. Since you don’t know how the dog behaves, you are putting yourself at risk of being bitten. Additionally, you should avoid touching a dog if the owner has not permitted you to do so. This is because an owner will not permit you if the dog is aggressive to strangers. Therefore, avoid putting yourself in such a risky situation.
Consider the Dog’s Body Language
It’s also helpful to first read a dog’s body language before touching it. You may not have realized it yet, but dogs, just like human beings, greatly rely on vocalization, body gestures, and postures while expressing themselves. Although reading a dog’s body language accurately isn’t always easy; doing so can give you a clear indication of the dog’s mood or state of mind. For instance, if the dog is growling at you or barking persistently, it may not be safe to get close to it. Whenever you feel that a dog is frightened, stressed, or threatened, avoid touching or moving close to it.
Avoid the Bite of an Attacking Dog
Although it’s challenging, avoiding the bite of an attacking dog is possible. If you are attacked, do what you can to stay away from the dog’s teeth. Use whatever you have in your hand to block the dog’s mouth from biting you.
Secure Yourself from an Aggressive Dog
Whenever you come into contact with an aggressive dog, it’s of utmost importance that you secure yourself from the dog. However, this does not mean that you should run. Slowly and steadily walk away from the dog to a place that you feel is secure. At the same time, avoid any direct eye contact with the dog. Always remember that an anxious dog will consider direct eye contact a threat.
Teach Your Kids How to Behave Around Dogs
As mentioned earlier, kids are the most frequent victims of dog bite injuries. Whether you own a dog or not, you must teach your children how to behave around dogs. Although this might seem easy, it’s a daunting task. The following pointers come highly recommended for teaching your children how to behave responsibly around dogs.
- Your kids should avoid approaching any unfamiliar dogs.
- Whenever your kid is frightened by a dog, he or she should avoid screaming or running.
- In instances that a dog attacks your child, he or she should roll into a ball and remain calm as much as possible.
- Let your kid know that it’s not right to play with any dog without your supervision.
Whether a dog is friendly or not, a dog can bite at any given time. It’s essential to approach any dog with caution when introducing yourself. Finally, learn to read a dog’s body language before touching it.