Safety tips about preventing dog bites

Many people may be unaware of how to stay safe in the presence of familiar or unfamiliar dogs, and more than 600 people in Florida experience dog bite injuries that require hospital attention every year. The Florida Department of Health offers information about why dogs bite and provides safety tips about how to prevent aggressive behavior in canines.

There could be an increased risk for biting when a dog is not spayed or neutered so pet owners should make sure their animals have been fixed. A dog is most likely to bite someone at home when one interacts inappropriately by roughhousing or controlling the dog or trying to engage with a dog while it chews a toy or eats food. Dogs might also attack at home or elsewhere when trying to protect themselves or others.

When out with one’s dog, keeping a dog leashed can help reduce injury because about one-third of all bites occur when a dog is not at home and not leashed. Teaching dogs to follow basic commands like “stay” and “come” and socializing dogs are good safety precautions, and owners should not play aggressively with dogs or keep dogs chained for extended amounts of time. Children face greater risks for dog bites, and young children and infants should not be unsupervised when in a room with a dog.

While one may not consider a dog bite a serious injury, dog bites can result in infections, disfigurement and physical or emotional scarring. A victim or family member may want to seek compensation after an animal attack occurs to recover expenses associated with treatment and losses. Through a personal injury claim, a victim might be awarded funds that cover those damages.

Source: Florida Health, “Dog Bite Prevention“, November 12, 2014