Avoiding dog bites in Florida

Every year, many people are seriously injured when they are bitten by dogs or other animals. There are certain things people can do to try to avoid being attacked by a dog or animal. People should always be careful when around animals in order to prevent such incidents.

Many dogs and other animals bite when they are startled. People should not approach and try to pet dogs that are sleeping, eating or taking care of its puppies. Recognizing a dog’s body language is equally important. People should slowly back away from a dog while refraining from running if the dog has a tensed body, furrowed forehead, is growling or baring its teeth or has rolled its eyes to where the whites are visible. People should also refrain from approaching a strange dog or trying to pet one over a fence, as the dog may view such people as threats.

When it appears a dog is going to attack, people should try to remain still with their hands at their sides. They should avoid eye contact. When able to do so, they should slowly back away. If the dog does lunge, people should curl up in a ball and protect their heads and faces with their arms and hands. In the event a dog does attack, it is important that people immediately wash the wound with soap and water, call a doctor and report the bite’s occurrence to authorities.

An animal bite may occur suddenly and without warning. These bites may cause serious personal injury to victims of them. Florida is one of many states with laws that impose strict liability on the owner of a dog who has bitten or attacked someone, regardless of whether the owner knew or should have been aware of the animal’s tendencies.

Source: The Humane Society of the United States, “How to Avoid a Dog Bite”, May 15, 2013