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Common Causes of Dog Bites in the U.S.

Common Causes of Dog Bites in the U.S.

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Dogs are everywhere, and chances are, you have a furry friend of your own. Although dogs are adorable, all of them are capable of biting, regardless of their breed or size. Even the cutest pup might snap when it’s injured or scared. 

All adults and children must learn to keep themselves safe around dogs. Continue reading to learn about the dangers of dog bites.


The Dangers of a Dog Bite

Many people don’t believe dog bites constitute a severe injury because of how commonplace they are. However, these bites can result in several health problems, such as infection, rabies, nerve or muscle damage, and more. Moreover, dog bites can crack through your skin and bones, leading to permanent injury.

In today’s blog, we will discuss the most common causes of dog bites.


Why Do Dogs Bite?

Dogs usually bite people when they feel threatened because it’s a survival instinct. The following may provoke this aggressive behavior:

  • Startling a dog by suddenly approaching it from behind or waking it up from sleep
  • A dog may bite to defend itself, its territory, or a member of its pack
  • A mom might be fiercely protecting her pups
  • Running away from a dog can trigger herding behavior
  • A dog that’s in a fearful situation may bite anyone who approaches it, especially if it hears a loud noise.


Watch Out for Warning Signs

Dogs always give warning signs before they bite, but they’re usually subtle. A dog might tolerate being repeatedly disturbed by a baby, only to lash out suddenly. Sometimes, they showcase these warning signs for months or years before it loses its tolerance and snaps. Look out for the following distress signals:

  • The dog gets up and moves away when you approach it
  • The dog turns its head away from you
  • The dog stares at you with a pleading expression
  • You can see the white part of your dog’s eyes in a half-moon shape
  • The dog yawns when you try interacting with it
  • The dog scratches, bites or licks itself to avoid interaction

You may be under the false impression that your dog loves roughhousing, but if it shows warning signs, it’s time to leave it alone. 


Can I Stop My Dog from Biting People?

If you’re a dog owner, you’re responsible for training your dog and keeping it under control in public spaces. It’s important to protect everyone who comes in contact with it, so consider doing the following:

  • Enroll your dog in a basic training program
  • Socialize your dog, preferably as a pup. Allow your pooch to interact with all types of people, including children, the disabled, and the elderly. 
  • Learn your dog’s body language and identify your dog’s warning signs
  • Never discipline your dog by using aggressive punishment. Instead, stick to positive reinforcement, such as praise, pets, and treats. Consistently rewarding your dog for acceptable behavior is more effective because they’re people-pleasers. 
  • Expose your furry friend to a variety of situations, such as other dogs, loud noises, big machines, vacuums, bicycles, and anything else that scares it. Exposure works best when a dog is still young, but an old dog can learn new tricks!
  • If you take your dog out for a walk, keep it leashed at all times.
  • If you know your dog is aggressive, you must warn others. Don’t allow it to approach other people or animals unless it’s muzzled. 
  • Visit the vet routinely for wellness checkups. Keep your dog’s vaccinations up to date, especially the rabies prevention one. 


Steps to Take After a Dog Bite

If a dog bites you, follow these steps:

Step 1: Identify the dog’s owner. Ask for their name and address and request proof of the dog’s rabies vaccination. 

Step 2: Depending on the severity of the bite, you should contact 9-1-1 for immediate medical attention. 

Step 3: File a dog bite report at the police station to legally document your case. 

Step 4: Find out more about the dog. Obtain its dog license information. Has it bitten or attacked someone else in the past?

Step 5: Take pictures of your injuries, torn clothing, and the location where the incident occurred. 

Step 6: Contact a dog bite attorney immediately because the legal issues regarding dog bites are difficult to navigate.


Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton Is Here for You

Dog bites can leave devastating physical injuries and psychological scars. If you have experienced trauma from a dog bite, you should work with an experienced dog bite injury attorney from Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton to receive the compensation you deserve. Schedule your free case evaluation today.