According to the Connecticut Post, 42 people across the country died as the result of a dog attack in 2014. While every event may not be preventable, there are steps that owners and others can take in order to avoid a dog bite.
The Humane Society of the United States says that one of the best ways to prevent a dog bite is to be polite and respectful of the animal’s personal space. That includes the following:
If a dog is eating, sleeping or chewing on a toy, it is best to leave it alone.
Do not bother a dog that is caring for puppies.
Do not attempt to pet a dog without letting it see and smell you first.
Additionally, it is wise to never approach a dog you do not know and to teach children the same.
As the American Kennel Club points out, avoiding a dog bite claim starts with responsible ownership. For example, dogs should be leashed at all times or contained within a fenced enclosure. This will prevent people from getting too close to your pet.
The AKC also notes that owners who do not socialize their dogs or watch for the signs of aggression are setting the animal up for failure. Dogs should always be introduced to new situations cautiously, especially when there are strangers and young children present.
A dog’s body language will often warn that an attack or bite is coming long before it happens. The body may tense up, including a stiff tail, and the animal’s brow may become furrowed. An intense stare and bared teeth are also signs that a dog is uncomfortable with its situation. If these signs are present, you should remove yourself or the animal from the environment.
Unfortunately, taking these steps does not guarantee that a bite will not happen. Anyone who has suffered an injury should seek immediate professional help.
While this information may be useful, it should not be taken as legal advice.