What You Need to Know to Protect Yourself From a Dog Bite
For the most part, dogs are friendly and fun to interact with, but in the event that a dog is out of control, there can be serious physical and emotional consequences. While you cannot always prevent dog bites, there are some important steps that you can take to protect yourself when interacting with strange dogs.How to Reduce Your Chance of Being Bitten
In most cases, dog attacks are a preventable tragedy. By knowing how to safely interact with dogs, you can avoid a provoked attack. The Humane Society gives several important guidelines that you should follow when interacting with dogs, especially dogs that you are not familiar with, in order to reduce the chance of being bitten.
- Never approach an unfamiliar dog without its owner’s permission. The owner knows better than you if the dog is comfortable around strangers. He or she will be able to tell you if the dog is safe to interact with unfamiliar people.
- Do not advance towards a dog confined behind a fence or chained in a small space by a leash or chain. Many dogs can show aggression if they feel cornered when approached by a stranger in a closed-in area.
- Never take a dog by surprise. Let the dog see you and sniff you before petting it.
- Never turn your back on a dog after playing with it. The dog may misconstrue your action as an invitation to chase and catch.
- Do not disturb a sleeping dog. Dogs feel vulnerable when sleeping and may snap when awakened unexpectedly.
- You should never harass dogs while they are eating, chewing on a toy, or caring for puppies. Dogs are likely to be protective of their food, toys, and young.
By following these guidelines, you can better assure that your interactions with dogs are safe and enjoyable for you and your family.How You Can Further Protect Yourself
Sometimes a dog can be provoked to aggression, even if you follow all of the above rules. In the case that you fear imminent aggression from a dog, there are some actions you can take to reduce the likelihood of the attack or to minimize your injuries.
- Avoid eye contact. Dogs find eye contact to be an aggressive act and it can spur them to further aggression.
- Stand motionless with your hands down by your side.
- Once the dog loses interest, back away slowly out of sight.
- If the dog does attack, use anything available to keep the dog away.
- If you are knocked to the ground by the dog, curl up in a ball with your ears covered. Stay as motionless as possible on the ground.
While these actions cannot guarantee that you will be safe from an angry dog, they can help protect you from more serious injury. Sometimes, no matter how you act around a dog, it can still attack. Often, the injured party is a child who cannot be held responsible for his or her actions around the dog. While laws related to dog bite injuries are complex, the dog’s owner can often be held responsible for not keeping his or her dog away from others.If a Dog Has Bitten You, Contact Us
If a dog has attacked you or someone you love, contact the Georgia dog bite injury attorneys at Van Sant Law to find out how you can be compensated for your injuries. We represent dog bite and dog attack victims throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area and across Georgia.
We are ready to help you through this difficult time. Call us today at 404-991-5950, or fill out our free, no-obligation online contact form to set up your free consultation.