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How to avoid dog bites

Have you ever been bitten by a dog? Dog bites happen for a number of reasons, but prevention is key. Don't let an attack happen to you or your loved ones. Read on for more information on how to avoid an incident.

Fear

One of the leading causes of dog attacks and bites is fear. Dogs become frightened, and in response, they lash out in an effort to protect themselves. Fear is usually directed toward strangers. Moreover, dogs may react to unfamiliar places or faces. Due to dogs' discomfort with the unknown, it is best to never approach a dog you do not know.

Prey drive

Prey drive is an instinct in carnivores to find, chase and catch their prey. Quick objects or motions, including squirrels, playing children or even bikers whizzing past, can trigger this instinct. If you are chased by a dog because movements or actions have activated prey drive, do not run away. Instead, stand straight and avoid eye contact while keeping hands at your sides.

More often than not, if you stay calm and follow these steps, even dogs who are acting aggressively will lose interest and walk away.

Territorial instinct

Dogs are territorial creatures and when a dog feels you are trespassing or interfering with their "property," this may cause aggressive behavior. Protective instincts extend to toys, food and owners. In these instances, touching or approaching a dog's area can result in an attack.

If a dog is behaving aggressively in their home or around their owner, do not act anxious or fearful. Instead, assess the situation, remain calm and slowly step away from the animal.

What if a dog attacks?

Even if you are careful, there is still a chance that a dog might react. If an assault ensues, please do the following:

  • Seek medical attention immediately. Early intervention is key to recovery, and you won't necessarily know if a dog is rabid or carrying transmittable illnesses until you are checked out.
  • Call the authorities. Calling the proper authorities immediately after an attack is also important, as they can help determine a dog's biting history and assist you with how to proceed, given any relevant information.
  • Seek legal help. A dog attack can cause egregious physical, financial and emotional damage. The good news is that recovery maybe be available. For example, some home insurance policies cover expenses related to dog bites.

To learn more about dog attacks and what to do after an accident, please visit our website.

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