Dogs are man’s best friend. They are our beloved pets. They can raise our spirits, make our houses seem like homes, and provide us with years of loyal companionship. They can also cause injuries if they are poorly trained and feel threatened and bite.
Dog bites can do severe harm. They can cause injuries and even fatalities for the victim. The dog also faces consequences that could end their lives. Preventing dog bites is essential for the safety of the people around your dog and the dog itself.
Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bites or dog attacks can seriously hurt the victim of the attack. Some common injuries dog bite victims suffer are listed below:
- Puncture wounds
- Muscle tears
- Scarring and disfigurement
Tips for Dog Owners
There are measures that dog owners and people who do not own dogs can take to prevent dog attacks from happening. Listed below are some suggestions to protect yourself, your dog, and people who dog bites may potentially harm:
- Make sure your dog is socialized. This is the best way to prevent your dog from being threatened in unfamiliar situations or with unfamiliar people. Socializing your dog early and often will help you avoid having a reactive or aggressive dog.
- Dog training is a crucial measure that all dog owners should take to prevent bites. Obedience commands ensure your dog responds to your cues. This can give your dog more confidence in threatening situations and ensure you have more control.
- Always keep a watchful eye on your dog. Pay attention to your dog when they are around other people or may come into contact with other animals. If you notice their body language or signs of agitation, swiftly remove them from the area.
- Spayed and neutered dogs are naturally less aggressive, making them less likely to become biters. Their hormone levels are reduced, so the territorial or aggressive behavior wanes.
- Dogs in confrontational situations, like when they are fenced or leashed, can cause them to become aggressive because they feel threatened. Avoid those situations when possible so that nothing negative happens.
Dog owners should take the time to train their dogs, follow leash laws and other laws for their region. According to Freedman Law, the laws surrounding dog bites and their consequences vary for each state.
Always monitor your dog closely. Avoid putting your dog in a situation where it might feel threatened. However, spend time conditioning them to be less aggressive through training and controlled socialization.
Tips for People Without Dogs
If you do not have a dog, you may be less familiar with how to interact with them safely. If you have children, it is important to teach them the proper way to greet and interact with dogs. Many children have dogs at home who are tolerant of their hugs and what appears to be aggressive affection.
Not all dogs are accustomed to that and may feel threatened. Train your children to always ask the owner for permission before approaching their dog. Teach them to leave dogs who are eating, sleeping, or drinking alone, in case they are resource guarders.
Dogs can see eye contact as a sign of aggression. Teach children that this behavior might be misinterpreted and to avoid it with dogs they do not know well.
Be Aware of the Dog’s Body Language
Dogs cannot verbally tell you what is bothering them but can give you cues. If a dog is feeling threatened or they are becoming aggressive, you may notice the following:
- Baring their teeth
- Raised hackles
- Stiff, upright tail
For a full list, read this guide here.
These behaviors mean that it is best to leave the dog alone. To avoid a bite, avoid the dog when they are giving you all the signals to exhibit that they need space.
Take Care of Yourself, Your Children, and Your Pets
Follow all the leash laws and other laws regarding animals in your area. Ensure a dog that is not a threat by socializing and training them well. No matter how well-trained the dog is, monitoring its behavior and checking in regularly with them is essential.
Outline for your children how to approach dogs and went to avoid them. Leave a situation where you feel that the dog is behaving menacingly. Ask the owner if you have any questions. If everyone behaves responsibly, dog bites can be greatly reduced.