Many things increase in the summertime, including temperatures and the amount of dog bites and attacks.
There is a correlation between an increase in dog bites and rising temperatures, according to research published in a 2009 issue of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Researchers also discovered that young children are particularly vulnerable to severe dog bites in the head and neck.
Researchers do not know why there is an increase in dog bites during the summer but they suggested it is because children are more likely to spend time outside playing with dogs when the weather is warmer.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help reduce the chances that you or your children will suffer a dog bite this summer.
If an attack occurs and you suffer an injury, contact our dog bite attorneys in Savannah for a free consultation. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses and other damages.
STRATEGIES FOR AVOIDING DOG BITES
Some dog bites are unavoidable, but others might have been prevented by exercising an appropriate level of caution around the dog.
Here are nine practical tips on preventing dog bites:
1. ONLY ALLOW CHILDREN TO PLAY WITH DOGS UNDER ADULT SUPERVISION
Children, particularly toddlers, are more likely to be overly aggressive when they play with dogs. This could include:
- Taunting or teasing
- Pulling on the dog’s tail or other body parts
- Sitting on the dog
- Harassing a dog when it does not want to play
Parents need to teach their children the right way to interact with a dog to prevent it from becoming irritated or feel the need to defend itself. For example, children need to learn to leave a dog alone if it does not feel like playing.
2. KEEP YOUR DISTANCE FROM DOGS YOU DO NOT KNOW
Some dogs can be easily startled and many are very protective of their owners. If you come too close too quickly, the dog is more likely to become angry and feel it needs to protect itself and its owner.
3. DO NOT PET A DOG UNLESS IT SEES
Dogs do not like being surprised and tend to bark or attack when that happens. That is why you need to make sure a dog sees you before interacting with it.
4. ASK THE OWNER FOR PERMISSION BEFORE PETTING THE DOG
The dog will see this interaction and take it as a sign that his or her owner is comfortable with you. That makes it more likely that the dog will be comfortable with you.
5. NEVER HUG OR KISS AN UNFAMILIAR DOG
Even if a dog has seen and smelled you and appears to be comfortable with you, do not get too close. Most dogs do not enjoy being hugged or coming face-to-face with a human being.
6. NEVER ENCOURAGE ROUGH PLAY FROM YOUR DOG
If you do this, the dog will think it is OK and will be more likely to behave aggressively around you and others.
7. DO NOT DISTURB A DOG DURING SLEEPING OR EATING
Children are much more likely to do this, as they do not understand the danger presented by dogs who are startled or disturbed when sleeping or eating.
8. WATCH FOR SIGNS OF AGGRESSIVENESS OR IRRITATION
If you notice any of these behaviors, you should leave the dog alone:
- Stiff or rigid posture – This is particularly noticeable in the hind legs. You may also notice the dog’s ears lying flat against his or her head.
- Baring of teeth – This is a pretty obvious sign that the dog is irritated or might be about to attack. Dogs tend to do this when staring intently at their target before they attack.
- Barking or growling – This is a warning that the dog does not like you or it is about to attack.
9. STAND YOUR GROUND IF A DOG APPROACHES YOU
If you are approached by an unfamiliar dog, you need to stand your ground. Do not run or make loud noises out of panic.
Turn your body so you are not facing the dog directly as the dog could take it as a sign of aggression. You should also avoid direct eye contact with the dog.
Use a firm, deep voice and tell the dog, “No,” or say, “Go home.”
CONTACT US TODAY TO DETERMINE YOUR LEGAL OPTIONS
Dog bites can cause a variety of severe injuries, including nerve damage, broken bones, and potentially fatal infections like rabies and tetanus. One of the most unfortunate parts about many of these injuries is that they were caused by negligence and could have been prevented.
If you think your dog attack could have been prevented, schedule a free legal consultation with our Savannah personal injury lawyers to determine your legal options.
Our experienced attorneys know how to conduct a thorough investigation to help determine if negligence occurred and how it caused your injuries.
If you have a viable claim and decide to proceed, you will not be charged legal fees unless we recover fair compensation.
Call 855-856-4212 or fill out a Free Case Evaluation form today to set up your free consultation.