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When the Dog Bites

Submitted by Anonymous on Jul 7th, 2009

Each year, approximately four million Americans report dog bites to police and health officials. Most of these bites do not cause much damage and are superficial, but in 2007, thirty-three fatalities were caused by dog maulings.

Most of the attacks occur not by stray dogs, but by dogs in their home and their own backyard. People sometime do not realize that dogs feel comfortable with humans after they approach and sniff them. Dogs who feel threatened use biting as their defense mechanism. The majority of bites that hospitals treat involve bites to hands and arms.

There are countless examples of people who become injured after a dog attacks. Most of these cases involve small children, often the same size as the dog. Although there has been no established connection, it seems as though the highest number of attacks occur from pit bulls and rottweilers.

Our tips for avoiding potential dog bites, dog maulings, and other dog-related injuries:

? NEVER leave a baby or young child alone with a pet.
? Start teaching young children, including toddlers, to be careful around pets.
? Keep pets on a leash when in public.
? Avoid sick animals and animals that you don’t know.
? Do not try to separate fighting animals.
? If you are threatened by a dog, remain calm; do not scream or turn and run.
? If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your head and neck.

If you are bitten by a dog, contact medical personnel immediately and allow medical supervision to treat any wounds. After contacting medical assistance, write down everything possible about the dog, including the location of the attack, physical description of the dog, possible owner of the dog, and everything leading up to the situation causing the dog bite.