Don’t Get Bit (Dog Bite Prevention Week May 17-23)

You only need to perform a basic Internet search to come across lists of dogs that are more likely to bite than others. You can discover the most vicious breeds and those that are the friendliest. You can learn how to read canine body language, and you can find out what to do if you are bitten.

But do you know how to avoid being bitten altogether? While some bites may be inevitable, there are situations that people put themselves in without realizing the mistake in their behavior. When you observe any of these scenarios, keep your hands off of the dog, especially if it doesn’t belong to you:

The dog is loose. If there is a dog running loose in your neighborhood, particularly one you are not familiar with, don’t try to catch it.

If a dog is with its owner. Always ask before you pet someone else’s dog. Some dogs are sensitive to a stranger’s touch.

The dog is in a fence. Dogs can display territorial aggression. Do not reach over or through a fence to pet a dog.

Let sleeping dogs lie. The old adage is very good advice. Do not pet a sleeping dog, and leave a dog alone when it is eating.

It is injured. Sick and injured dogs often behave in ways that they would not otherwise. If you do not have medical experience, call authorities for assistance rather than trying to offer aid.

She has puppies. Do not attempt to pet a dog who is surrounded by her puppies, and leave the puppies alone.

The dog is playing with a toy. Some dogs get very possessive of their toys. If it is not your dog, don’t pet a dog with a toy in its mouth or immediate vicinity.

It is a service dog. Do not distract a service dog. Ever. If a dog is working, leave it alone. Distracting the dog can be dangerous to its handler.

It is making noise. Not all barks are happy barks, and not all growls are menacing. If a dog is barking or growling at you, the safest thing you can do is keep your hands to yourself.

The dog is cowering or hiding. If you approach a dog and it tucks its tail, crouches, or looks for a place to hide, let it be. This dog is fearful and may act out.

These, of course, are generalities and do not apply to all dogs all the time. They are good tips to follow in most circumstances. Keep in mind that not all dogs are friendly, and not all dogs are vicious. Until you know the dog, it is best to keep your hands at your sides and resist the urge you have to reach out and give it a friendly pat.

If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be eligible for compensation. Call our offices today so that we can review your case. We can advise you how to go forward from here. Call now.

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