Just how to Avert a Dog Bite
Be polite and take note of body language
How do you prevent getting bit by a dog? Start by being polite and recognizing the dog’s personal space. Never approach a strange dog, especially one who’s tied or confined behind a fence or in a car. Don’t pet a dog– even your own– without permitting them see and sniff you first.
Don’t disturb a dog while they are resting, eating, chewing on a toy or caring for puppies. Be mindful around strange dogs. Always presume that a dog who doesn’t know you may see you as an intruder or a threat.
Pay attention to the dog’s body language.
Put a safe amount of space between yourself and a dog if you see the following signals indicating that the dog is uncomfortable and might feel the need to bite:
- tensed body
- stiff tail
- pulled back head and/or ears
- furrowed brow
- eyes rolled so the whites are visible
- flicking tongue
- intense stare
- backing away
When putting space between yourself and a dog who might bite, don’t ever turn your back on them and run away. A dog’s natural instinct will be to chase you.
What to do if you think a dog may attack
If you are approached by a dog who may attack you, follow these steps:
- Resist the impulse to scream and run away.
- Remain motionless, hands at your sides, and avoid eye contact with the dog
- Once the dog loses interest in you, slowly back away until they are out of sight.
- If the dog does attack, “feed” them your jacket, handbag, bike or anything that you can put between yourself and the dog.
- If you fall or are knocked to the floor, curl into a ball with your hands over your ears and remain stationary. Try not to yell or roll around.
What to do if you’re bitten by a dog.
If you are bitten or attacked by a dog, try not to panic.
Right away wash the wound thoroughly with soap and warm water.
Contact your physician for additional care and advice.
Report the bite to your local animal care and control agency. Explain to the animal control official everything you know about the dog, including their owner’s name and the address where they live. If the dog is a stray, tell the animal control official what the dog appears like, exactly where you saw them, whether you’ve seen them before and in which direction they went.