As the old adage goes, dog is man’s best friend. It is true we seemed to have bonded more closely with dogs than any other animal. They live in our homes, take part in our days, and for some people even share the bed at night. But are we putting too much faith in dogs because they are some common? After all, dogs are descended from wolves – huge, wild hunters that tend to share little in common with your household pet.
Did you know nearly a quarter of a million people in our nation are bit by dogs every year? Children are the most frequent victim of dog bites, but all age ranges are affected. In addition to the terror and trauma of having a trusted animal bite you, dog bites can cause serious bodily harm. Common injuries included bleeding, swelling, and plenty of pain at the site of the bite. But some dogs can carry dangerous bacteria in their mouths which can lead to infection. In rare cases, a dog may transmit rabies to its victim.
So what can you do to prevent bites and attacks from man’s best friend? Check out these following tips to stay safe around our furry companions:
Stray dogs have often not been socialized the same way as pets. This means they might not recognize you as a friend. Steer clear of stray dogs. If you see a leash led dog, always ask permission before assuming you can pet it.
Protecting food is a major drive in dogs. Never try to touch a dog during dinnertime. Also, never touch their food or bowl while they are eating either.
As mentioned, children are the most frequent victims of dog attacks. Children are very excitable and this can put a dog into a state of excitement as well. Additionally, children sometimes do not realize their own strength a may actually physically hurt a pup resulting in a defensive nip or bite. Keep a close eye on children when they interact with dogs to keep things calm and friendly.
Some dogs can be very territorial. They may have an instinctive drive to protect their home and owner. If you enter into their house and interact with their owner, be mindful they might not see you as a friend. Proceed with caution and always ask permission before petting a dog.
Dogs are pack animals with a distinct alpha leading the group. For domestic pets, this is often the owner. Yet, this is not always the case. And even when the dog recognizes its master as such, they may want to jockey for position with you. Avoid challenges such as direct eye contact, but be assertive and confident so it knows you mean business.
Pet owners have a legal obligation to control their animals. They are responsible for the actions of their pets and can be held liable for not exercising due caution. In the case of dog bites and attacks, avoidance should be your first line of defense. However, if you are bitten, you may be entitled to a personal injury settlement. After all, who should really be responsible for your medical bills, lost wages from missed work, and the mental anguish of being attacked by an animal? This is the pet owner’s responsibility.