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Staying safe as dog bites increase

As spring settles in, people begin to spend more time outside. This can increase the chances of individuals encountering dogs, which can inadvertently increase the chances of a dog bite.

If you or a loved one do receive serious injury from a dog bite, it may be possible to seek compensation through a personal injury claim. However, taking certain measures may help to prevent such an occurrence in the first place.

Signs to watch for

Dogs can attack for several different reasons, such as being scared, confused or angry. However, even when a dog reaches such emotional highs, it is still possible to thwart a possible bite or attack by being proactive and noticing the signs. Excessive growling or barking, the dog's ears and tail pointing straight, it showing its teeth or lowering its head are all signs of a possible attack. If you interact with the dog at that point, you should stop and slowly move away. Saying "no" or "go home," in a stern and deep voice can also deter the animal.

Dos and don'ts

The CDC provides certain dos and do nots people should implement in case they face an unknown or irritated canine. A few of those tips include:

  • If the dog has an owner, always ask if it is okay to pet it.
  • If approached by an unknown dog, do not run or panic. Stand still.
  • Do not make any sudden movements. Slowly bring your arms up and wrap your hands around your neck.
  • Inform others of stray dogs.
  • If a dog knocks you down, crawl into a ball, covering your neck and ears with your hands.

Though these tips may not guarantee the canine will not attack, having the knowledge may lessen the chances. Children are also at a higher risk than adults of being attacked by a dog, so making sure any children around know the proper way to interact with a dog is essential.

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