Dogs are amazing. They come in all shapes and sizes. They play games and learn tricks. They can be trained to help people with disabilities, to track down missing persons and even to protect soldiers in combat zones. Studies have shown that they can help us calm down and even recover from serious illnesses. However, dogs can also cause serious injuries if they attack or bite you. In many cases, a dog’s owner can be held accountable for its violent behavior, but you can also take steps to avoid dog bite injuries this summer.
5 Tips on How to Avoid Dog Bites
Even if you aren’t a pet owner yourself, the odds are that you’ll encounter more than one pup while you’re outside this summer. Kids especially love dogs, and may not realize the danger of running up to a seemingly friendly dog, so you should be sure to review these safety tips with the whole family:
- Don’t go near an unleashed dog. If a dog is wandering around free, you should never try to pet or catch it. Lost dogs might already be nervous or hungry, which makes them more prone to biting.
- Always ask a dog owner’s permission before petting it. This rule is especially important for children, who might try to run up and pet a dog at the playground. If the owner says not to pet the dog, then don’t!
- Don’t hurt or tease a dog. A no-brainer for adults, but this rule is important to reinforce to younger folks.
- Don’t run or scream if an unfamiliar dog approaches you. Dogs are most likely to bite when they feel threatened by things like sudden movements and noises. Standing still and staying quiet are the best ways to avoid serious injuries if a strange dog runs toward you.
- Use a leash. If you are a pet owner, make sure your dog is always on a leash when you are in public. Even if you are really proud of how well you trained your dog, you never know how he’s going to react in emergency situations, like if a 3-year-old lunges at him.
We love our dogs. In fact, according to the ASPCA, up to 47 percent of Americans own a dog, making them the country’s most popular pet. Still, while most dogs may be friendly, you should always be careful around a dog you don’t know. St. Louis is one of the cities with the highest number of annual dog bites, ranking thirteenth in the nation according to the U.S. Postal Service, so make sure you and your family are following good dog safety practices this summer.
If you are bitten by a dog in Missouri or Illinois, you may have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the owner. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation. The information provided by Walton Telken, LLC in this Blog is not intended to be legal advice, but merely provides general information related to common legal issues. This Blog, and the information contained within it, is Attorney Advertisement. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. Past results afford no guarantee of future results. Every case is different and must be judged on its own merits.