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You’ve probably seen a comedy where the mailman gets his rear-end bitten by a dog and has to run away with a hole in his pants. These jokes are funny, but dog bites are a serious problem. Preventing dog bites is very important. They can cause serious injury and even be deadly.

The Facts about Preventing Dog Bites

Statistics show that between 2005 and 2015, 360 people were killed by dogs. Here are some other facts about dog bites:

  • Pit bulls and Rottweilers are the most aggressive dogs. Combined, they contributed to 76% of these deaths.
  • A dog bite occurs every 75 seconds in the United States.
  • Every day, more than 1,000 people receive emergency medical care for dog bites.
  • Owners and primary caretakers of dogs are some of the most common victims of bites.
  • In 2012, more than 27,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery due to dog bites.

Preventing Dog Bites: How to Do It

Preventing dog bites starts by avoiding potentially dangerous situations:

  • Pay attention to “beware of dog” signs and use caution.
  • Don’t approach a dog that is eating or taking care of puppies — dogs are very protective of food and offspring.
  • Don’t approach a dog quickly or make sudden movements — they may take it as aggressive behavior.
  • If a dog seems upset or is growling or bearing its teeth at you, hold still.
  • Don’t ever run from a dog — it wants to chase you and is probably faster than you.
  • Try to find a non-threatening way to distract an upset dog so you can get away. Do not make eye contact.

If you are attacked:

  • Hold still or curl up into a ball on the ground. Protect your face and neck.
  • If that doesn’t work, fight back — kick and yell for help.
  • If necessary, use your body weight. Get on top of the dog and hold it down.

What to Do if You’ve Been Attacked by a Dog

If the bite isn’t too deep, follow these instructions:

  • Stop any bleeding by putting a clean towel on wounds and keeping them elevated.
  • Wash wounds with warm water and soap.
  • Use sterile bandages to cover wounds.
  • Apply antibiotic ointment daily to avoid infection.

If you have a large, deep wound or are losing large amounts of blood, call 911 and get emergency assistance.

Dog bites can cause serious damage. Pain and suffering settlements can help you pay your bills and make a full recovery. At Christensen & Hymas, we specialize in representing dog bite victims. Contact us today for a free consultation, or order a free copy of our dog bite accident book.

Photo courtesy of Kelly