Now that the weather is starting to warm up and summer is just around the corner, chances are that you’re going to be spending a lot more time outdoors very soon. Taking walks around your neighborhood, having picnics in your local park and other fun outside activities are the biggest benefit of the summer season. However, re-emerging after the cold of winter is not without its risks, one of the greatest being bitten by unattended dogs. Dog bites can be devastating injuries, but they are entirely avoidable with the right precautions. Here are a few tips for recognizing the signs of a dog attack—and steps to take to avoid suffering debilitating dog bites throughout the summer season.
Take Note of a Dog’s Body Language
Just like with people, reading a dog’s body language is one of your most valuable tools in staying safe and avoiding bites. If you come across a stray or wild dog, look for a few tell-tale signs that indicate the dog is getting ready to attack. A tense body, furrowed brow and extremely rolled back eyes are all indicators that a dog is on high alert and may be preparing for attack. You should also look out for intense stares and incessant tongue flicking. Seeing these signs are all red alerts that a dog is preparing to attack.
Actions to Take When You Think a Dog May Bite
Once you see any of the attack warning signs, it is important that you take quick action to avoid being bitten. Any sudden movement can cause an agitated dog to attack, so resist your impulse to run and try to stay as motionless as possible, taking special care to avoid eye contact with the animal. As the dog loses interest in you, you should move away slowly until the dog is out of sight.
Should the dog attack, put any item at your disposal in between you and the dog in the hopes they will draw the dog’s attention. Jackets, purses or large items like bicycles are all useful in distracting a dog and allowing you to escape. However, if you cannot avoid the dog attack, protect yourself by curling into a ball and staying as still and possible until the dog leaves.
Take Medical Precautions if You’ve Suffered a Bite
After you’ve suffered dog bites, it is important that you take immediate steps to treat your wounds. Because dogs can carry blood borne diseases, like rabies, you should clean any wounds with warm water and soap, making sure to completely dry the area afterwards. Once you’ve cleaned the wound, you should call your doctor for advice and for additional wound care as needed. Finally, because the dog may attack other people, it is a necessity to report the attack to animal control so that they can issue a warning and search for the dangerous animal.
Get Compensation for Preventable Dog Bites
Suffering a dog bite can be a very traumatic experience that can diminish your quality of life in a number of different ways. While some dog attacks are unpreventable, others come from the negligence of inattentive dog owners. If you’ve suffered dog bites because of the fault of another, then you deserve compensation, and the best way to get that compensation is by receiving representation from the attorneys at Heuser & Heuser, LLP. We have the litigation experience to expertly handle a wide variety of personal injury lawsuits, including wrongful dog bites. Following a dog bite, make sure to contact us right away so that we can start fighting for your just compensation.