With the warm weather returning, people are out and about again, going
on walks through their neighborhoods or in town, often with their family
pets in tow. While it can be nice for the animals to get a change of scenery,
dogs can sometimes be unpredictable or dangerous, leading to attacks and
bites that cause serious injuries, and sometimes even death.
In order to prevent a
dog attack from happening to you, there are a few things you can do to put yourself
in a safer position around any dogs you happen to meet.
- Never approach a dog when it is sleeping, eating, or looking away from
you. While dogs have been domesticated as pets for hundreds of years,
they are still animals and should be treated with caution.
- Always ask for the owner’s permission before you approach a dog or
attempt to pet it. Even if the dog seems friendly, or is small, always
exercise caution. Even small dogs can dole out deep and painful bites,
or could carry diseases if they aren’t properly vaccinated.
- Allow a dog to smell you before making any moves. If you approached the
dog, offer the back of your hand so it can become acquainted with your
smell. If the dog approached you, hold still and allow it to sniff you
as it will. Avoid sudden moves and let it investigate without doing anything
that could provoke or startle it.
- If a dog is unfamiliar to you, do not approach it. Even if the animal seems
harmless, or is off leash, call the local animal control instead of attempting
to handle the dog yourself.
Under no circumstances should you allow small children to play with a dog alone. Even if the dog belongs to a family member or friend, or has behaved well
around children before, they should always be supervised. Small children
may unintentionally provoke an aggressive or defensive behavior in even
the most docile dog simply by falling or grabbing onto the dog.
Unfortunately, sometimes even following each of these good practices can
still not be enough to prevent a dog attack. If find yourself in a situation
where you think you may be attacked by a dog, or are bitten, try to remain
calm. The following tips can help you protect yourself if an unfriendly
dog ever acts aggressively towards you.
- If an unknown dog approaches you, do not run, as that may trigger a natural
chase response. Instead, stay quietly in one place and allow it to smell you.
- Avoid eye contact with the dog, and attempt to keep it at the side of your
body, rather than behind or in front of you.
- Ignoring the dog is best, if you are able. If a dog finds you uninteresting,
it will usually leave you alone.
- If the dog begins to attack, try to put a barrier between the two of you.
Or, if there is a blanket or towel near, attempt to throw it on the dog
to blind it, allowing you a few moments to escape.
Do not scream or hit the dog, it will only provoke it further.
- If you find yourself on the ground, protect your neck and head with your
arms and curl into a ball as tightly as you can until the dog loses interest
or help arrives.
If you or a loved one is ever attacked or bitten by a dog,
Pushchak & Dible, LLC can help. Our experienced lawyers are available 24/7 to answer your calls
and help with your dog attack injury.
For a free consultation concerning your case,
contact Pushchak & Dible, today.