How to Prevent and Deal With Dog Bites

 

Since the introduction of the Dangerous Dogs Act in 1991, the average number of deaths due to dog bites in the UK is 2.8 people per year. This is in contrast to the average number of bites for the ten years before the introduction of the Act, which was 1.1 per year – a rise of 155 percent.

Nobody wants to imagine dealing with the consequences of their beloved canine biting someone or their loved one being bit, so we will offer a few tips on how to prevent this from happening — as well as how to deal with it, if it does.

 

Prevention

Educating young children on how to prevent being bitten by a dog is a great first line of defense. This is particularly valuable for children who have grown up in a home with a non-aggressive animal and may be overly comfortable with larger animals. Due to the fact that most victims of dog bites are small children, teaching your child how to approach a dog and to read its body language will empower them to protect themselves from potential harm.

If you know your dog has aggressive tendencies, using a muzzle or a gentle leader to steer them away from children and other dogs will allow you to have more control over the situation. If you will have small children in your home, putting your dog in a room with a closed door or a kennel will prevent any uneasy situations between your pet and your house guests. If you have noticed that your dog is territorial and that it may be dangerous for strangers that may enter your yard, like a mail carrier or a repair man, be on the offensive and keep the dog indoors during the times that they may be coming to your home.

 

Stay Up-To-Date

Even the gentlest dogs can be triggered to have a moment of aggression and lash out. It is important to make sure that your dog is up to date on their vaccinations in the rare event that this occurs. If you can not provide proof that your dog has had their needed vaccinations, it can result in your dog being quarantined for 10 days while they test for rabies and other possible diseases. In the event that a person is severely hurt by a biting incident with your dog, offer to pay the hospital bills and to remedy the situation immediately. It may save you a lot of money in legal fees down the road.

 

Care of Bites 

In the event that you or someone near to you is bitten by a dog, follow these 7 steps:

Wash the wound with soap and water.

Gently press on the wound to induce further bleeding to aid in flushing out bacteria.

Compress the wound with a clean cloth until bleeding ceases.

Apply antibiotic cream, if available.

Apply a sterile bandage.

Seek medical attention if you feel it is necessary

Watch for signs of infection that may include redness, swelling, increased pain or a fever.

Depending on the severity of the wound, it may require stitches or further medical attention. It is important to remember the date of your last tetanus shot and if it has been more than five years may be recommended by your doctor if the dog’s vaccination history is unknown. A dog bite can contain a large number of different bacteria, and wounds are important to be kept clean to avoid infection.

Knowing your pet and keeping an eye on their behavior can give you some insight if they are feeling tense or aggressive. Be proactive and remove them from a stressful situation to prevent a potential incident. By educating children to ask before they approach a dog will also help to avoid a dog bite. If your dog is developing bad behavior when encountering strangers or other dogs, consider getting them into a regular training routine to get them back on track.

By Avery Phillips