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Protecting yourself before and after a dog bite

| Aug 11, 2020 | Personal Injury |

Imagine you are out for a walk around the neighborhood. You are enjoying a nice, peaceful day when you see a dog approaching – quickly. It’s running toward you, and before you can react, it attacks you.

A dog attack like this can result in catastrophic injuries, so it is vital to know what you can do to prevent them. Unfortunately, dog bites and attacks can still happen, which is why it is also critical to know what to do afterward.

Preventing a dog attack

To prevent an attack by a dog wherever you may be, you should understand the signs of an agitated dog and how you should act to avoid provoking it.

A dog may be ready to attack if it is:

  • Growling
  • Standing stiffly with ears back
  • Staring at you and intense
  • Following you in a stalking, tense manner
  • Baring its teeth

If you notice these or similar behaviors, it can be wise to steer clear of the dog.

However, even if a dog does not show these or other signs of aggression, it can attack if provoked. Provocation can involve:

  • Getting between a dog when it is eating or playing with a toy
  • Fighting with the dog’s owner
  • Pulling or stepping on the dog’s tail
  • Hitting or pushing the dog
  • Teasing the dog with a toy or food

Some dogs can also become aggressive if someone approaches them, stands up in front of them, or reaches to pet them. Thus, provocation can be accidental.

Pennsylvania also adopted a program to alert parties to the presence of dogs in a neighborhood to prevent attacks. The Paws program comes from the United States Postal Service, and it is to warn postal carriers of the presence of dogs. As such, if you see a dog sticker on someone’s mailbox, expect there is a dog nearby.

What to do after a dog attack

Dog attacks can happen to anyone, and animal bites of all kinds can cause severe illness and injuries, from disfiguring scarring to infections. As such, seeking medical help immediately is often necessary.

You can also report the incident to the police or animal control. And if your injuries are serious, you may consult an attorney to examine whether financial damages may be available.