Protect Yourself from a Dog Bite: 3 Proven Tips

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It’s hard to believe but dog bite is the second most common childhood injury that requires emergency room care. About 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year and 60% of them are children, and around 1000 Americans require emergency treatment for a dog bite injury every day. Another truth is that you may be the next prey of a dog. Your own dog may turn rebellious or your friend’s dog may attack you because it doesn’t recognize you as its owner’s friend. A stray dog in your locality may outbreak while you are on a walk. Any of these scenarios could happen.

So what should you do when you are attacked by a dog? Run? That’s not a good idea. Surrender? That’s a big no-no. You have to take defensive actions. Here are proven tips to protect yourself from a dog’s bite.

Beware and Take Precautions:

Dogs usually attack due to inadequate training by its owner. There are many other reasons of dog bite including when they are threatened, attacked, to protect their owners or home, or to prove their dominance. But dogs rarely bite before giving a fair warning sign. You should be aware of these warnings so that precautionary measures can be taken beforehand. These signs include growling, snapping, wagging tail, hair standing, or stiff body.

Whenever you see an unchained dog while walking, be prepared for the worst. A precautionary move is to take another path (if available). When you find a stray dog, avoid eye contact because most of the dogs recognize it as a threat. Don’t smile at the dog. This gesture may be friendly to some dogs but an aggressive dog would assume that you are baring your teeth in readiness to attack it.

Never Underestimate a Dog:

 All dogs can bite, in fact, their canine jaws can easily chop the flesh and break bones. Never get fooled by their size. They may be tiny but they can expertly use their choppers and inflict bad bites. When the dogs are large, you can expect severe damage.  Be very careful when you see a “Beware of Dog” notice. A dog is a dog and consider it as one irrespective of its size, color, looks, and age. A calm looking dog can be aggressive too. So whenever you encounter a dog, keep all this information in your mind and be prepared for uncertainties.

Do Not Run:

Although it’s intuitive for everyone to run away from danger, do not run when a dog approaches you. It’s the most important rule that cannot be emphasized enough. Running can be even more dangerous because the dog will chase you like prey and obviously, you can never outrun a dog.

The best approach is to stay cool and try to command the dog with words like go back or down. If your commands fail to work, avoid facing the dog directly and don’t make eye contact. These acts will signal the dog that you don’t mean to harm it.

You can also fold your arms tightly and remain in a still position. This is also a gesture that you are not there to fight with the dog. When the dog comes closer to you, don’t step back and stay calm. Some dogs will only smell you and go away without biting.

If a small dog is biting you, grab its neck and pull it away. But if a large dog attacks, find something pointed or hard that you can force into its mouth or block its teeth each time it tries to bite you. If a large heavy dog knocks you down, roll yourself in a position to protect your head, neck and belly with your arms and legs. This way, you can save your vital organs from a dog’s bite. The dog owner could be liable for injury caused to you, so you might want to pursue legal action through the help of a personal injury attorney.

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