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Avoiding a dog bite might not be on everyone's agenda throughout the day, but once you or your child is bitten, it becomes a lot more relevant in your mind. Here's some tips to help you never have to experience the potential vital consequences of a dog bite. 

If you see a dog sleeping, eating, chewing on it's favorite toy, or caring for its pups, don't bother it. Don't pet a dog unless he/she can see and sniff you first, even then, that can be risky. Always assume that a dog assumes you are a threat or intruder. Pay attention to the body language of a dog as well. There are tell-tale signs that a dog is angered and/or potentially dangerous:

  • Intense stare

  • Backing away

  • Flicking tongue

  • Yawning

  • Furrowed brow

  • Eyres rolled so the white are visible

  • Pulled back ears or head

  • Stiff tail

  • Tensed body

Perhaps some of those are obvious to you but it's always important to judge every dog on a case-by-case basis. Even if a dog is wagging it's tail and appears happy doesn't mean that it won't be overly aggressive with children. Sometimes a happy playful moment can turn into a rough and painful one if a dog gets too excited or riled up.

If you think that a dog will attack then follow these steps to avoid potential harm:

  1. Don't run away or scream

  2. Stay motionless, avoid eye contact, and keep your hands down

  3. Once the dog has appeared to lose interest, back away slowly

  4. If the dog bolts at you, put something between it and you (jacket, purse, bike, etc)

  5. If you fall on the ground, curl into a ball with your hands protecting your ears/head and try not to move. If a dog bites you and you scream and squirm around, it could consider it a challenge and continue biting and pulling.

If you do get bitten by a dog, don't panic but DO these following things:

  • Wash the wound with soap and water

  • Contact the doctor for additional care if needed (stitches, infection)

  • Report the bite to local animal control

  • Get a lawyer if damage is severe

It's one thing to be the victim of a dog bite and one to be the owner responsible for his/her dog biting someone else. Check out these tips on how to stop your dog from biting other people. If you are ever badly injured from a dog bite and seek restitution, don't hesitate to come see us at Handy and Handy Law in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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