Most Connecticut dog owners treat their pets like one of the family. But even the best behaved dog is still capable of biting a human being. It may perceive a person's action as a threat to its human family or it may feel threatened itself by an unfamiliar human. Dog bites are a very real threat to people and dog owners need to recognize that their pets are a potential liability issue. So here are some basic tips to help prevent dog bites.
According to the CDC, there are about four and a half million dog bites a year in the U.S. and at least 20 percent of these injuries become infected. So it's important to take precautions around our canine companions. Children and men are the most likely victims of dog bites and the dog's home is the most likely place where a bite will occur. Having a dog as a pet increases the likelihood of receiving a bite and having more than one dog also increases the chances of being bitten.
If a person is approached by a dog they do not know, it is best to stand still and not make any sudden movements. Should an unfamiliar dog knock someone to the ground, that person should curl up into a ball, turn their head down into their neck and then cover their ears with their hands. They should also inform other adults about the presence of the animal.
Additional dog safety advice includes keeping away from unknown dogs and never running away from a dog. A person should never approach a dog that is sleeping, eating or taking care of puppies. They should also never reach out to pet a dog without letting the dog sniff them first. Adults should also make sure to never let children play with a dog without an adult around since the children may try to roughhouse with the dog and the animal may interpret this innocent play as a threat.
A person who is bitten by a dog may be able to recover compensation by bringing a personal injury lawsuit against the dog owner. In many cases the owner will have liability coverage for dog bites under a homeowners' insurance policy. If a dog bite results in serious injury, a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can help the victim evaluate their options.
Source: www.cdc.gov, "Preventing dog bites", Accessed June 1, 2015