When playing, it’s not unheard of for a family pet to offer a little “nip” when they get excited. A full-on dog bite, however, is something else entirely. A simple nip is typically from playfulness, but a bite comes from a place of aggression. It’s important to know the difference. Currently, around 4.7 million people annually are bitten by dogs. Some areas are worse than others, of course. When a dog does bite, even if it is a friend or family member’s dog, know how to act.
What to Do Immediately After a Dog Bite
Immediately following a dog bite, the steps you take can help prevent damage or infection. If possible, try to snap a few photographs of the injuries. If you know the dog, pictures of the breed/coloring are not as important as if it were a stray.
- Treat the Wound – If you are losing blood, call emergency services. Apply pressure to the wound using a clean towel to slow the bleeding. If the wound is deep, you may need stitches and thorough medical care. If the wound is not bleeding, you may still require care. Infection is quite common with dog bites.
- Gather Information – Even if you know the owner, gather some key information. You’ll want names, contact information, etc. It’s imperative to learn whether the dog has had its rabies vaccinations, too.
Contact an Attorney
If all else fails and the family or friend refuses to assist you after the incident, contact an experienced dog bite attorney. No one wants to bring legal matters to the table when the situation involves friends or family. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what must happen on occasion.