Dogs are reliable furry friends, but they are still animals and can bite. In the US, approximately 4.7 million people have been bitten by a dog, with the most victims between the ages of 5 and 9. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one of five dog bites requires medical attention. Contrary to what most believe, people are often bitten by dogs they know — a family pet or a neighbor’s dog.
How do you prevent a dog from biting you? One of the best ways to prevent such attacks is for the owner to train their dog and to make sure the dog is in a secure area or on a leash. In Milwaukee, anytime an animal bites or causes wounds, the Department of Neighborhood Services must receive a report about the incident. If the attack happened after business hours, victims are encouraged to contact the police department.
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How to Avoid Dog Bites
If you suddenly come face to face with an aggressive dog, the first thing to do is to stay calm. Do not show any sign of fear or anxiety. Never resort to shouting or kicking the dog. Aggressive dogs will try to make you anxious before attacking you. So, if you remain calm and show the dog you are in control, it slows them down.
Never make direct eye contact with a dog. Keep the dog in your peripheral vision while standing sideways. Once you slow him down, claim your space. If you have anything that can make you appear more prominent and commanding of your area, like an umbrella or a bag, use it. It creates a barrier that causes the dog to respect you.
When the dog feels less threatened by your presence and that its presence does not intimidate you, the dog will back down.
What You Should Do If A Dog Attacks You
There are instances when you cannot prepare for a dog attack. They can come charging towards you and catch you off-guard. The best defense you can do to fend off an attack is to allow the dog to take a bite of something on you like a sweater or anything that would somehow bait the dog.
Move as far away as possible and don’t scream. You can also use your shirt to cover the dog’s face. Blocking his eyesight will give you enough time to run away. If there is no possible way to escape the dog, your next line of action is to protect your head, neck, and face. Curl up into a ball. Fist your hand to protect your fingers. If the dog is already biting you, don’t try to pull away as it will cause more damage to your flesh.
What To Do After a Dog Attack
Treat your wounds. If the dog bite is not severe, you can treat it at home. Stop the bleeding by placing a clean towel over the wound. Make sure the injured area remains elevated. Once you stop the bleeding, wash the bite with soap and water then apply a bandage. Don’t forget to put on antibiotic ointment every day.
Seek professional medical help. If the dog bite requires medical attention, go to the nearest ER. The doctor will assess if the wound needs suturing. Be prepared to get rabies vaccine or tetanus shot, if necessary.
Contact the Milwaukee Department of Neighborhood Services. It is mandatory to report animal bites to the department. When reporting, be ready to provide the following information:
- Address of animal
- Dog owner’s name and phone number (if known)
- Victim’s name, address, age and phone number
- Wound site
- Events surrounding the bite
Learn about a Milwaukee Dog Attack Lawyer. If your wounds are severe, you can file for a personal injury claim.
Unprovoked dog attacks are unusual. More often than not, a dog will try to attack if they feel threatened. If you expect to encounter an aggressive dog during your jog or walk, bring a stick or an umbrella as protection.