Dog bites are dangerous not only because of the physical damage they cause but also because of the potential for infection. Even if a bite seems minor, the wound may become infected and lead to severe illness. Some bacteria and viruses even have the potential to cause death if they infect a patient and the patient isn’t treated.
Preventing dog bites isn’t always possible. It’s hard to predict when a pet might run away or when a dog is at large. Strays do sometimes bite, but it’s more common for people to suffer bites from known animals. Even then, the risk for infection is high.
How can you reduce the chance of a dog bite in your home?
If you allow people to visit with their pets, be aware of the pet’s disposition. If the dog appears nervous or aggressive, ask to separate it from the people in the home. If the dog is eating or feeding puppies, don’t approach it.
Remember never to leave children alone with dogs, even if they’re well-known pets. A dog might normally not bite, but one that isn’t feeling well or that gets annoyed or injured by a child may snap and bite out of reflex. Teach your children not to scream or run around dogs, since those actions could lead to the dog “hunting” the individual and causing an injury.
What should you do if a bite does occur?
If you or your child are bitten, seek immediate treatment. Place a clean towel over the wound and keep the injured area elevated above the heart. Call for emergency care for deep wounds or those that bleed heavily. For others, wash the bite with soap and water, then call for an appointment or go to a local emergency room.
Not all dog bites are preventable, but it’s still the responsibility of the owner to cover the expenses you accrue. Owners are liable for the actions of their pets.