Dogs are popular pets because they are cute, loyal and often hardworking. Although dogs have many admirable qualities, dog bites are not one of them. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over half of dog bite injuries happen at home with dogs that are familiar to us. Because a dog bit can happen when you do not expect it to, it is good to be prepared with the knowledge of what to do in that situation.
If you are bitten or attacked by a dog, try to protect yourself by putting something like a purse or jacket between you and the dog. This can create space between you and the dog, preventing further injury. It could also act as a distraction. If the dog starts to attack the purse or jacket, you may be able to slowly back away toward safety.
If you are knocked down by the dog, you should curl into a ball. Tuck your head in towards your body, and cover your ears and neck to protect these vulnerable areas from serious injuries.
How to treat a dog bite wound
According to Cleveland Clinic, the biggest concern with dog bite injuries is the risk of infection, and the best way to treat wounds cause by a dog bite includes the following steps:
- Gently press the wound. The bleeding this causes will help to immediately flush out some bacteria.
- Thoroughly wash the wound with mild soap and water.
- Use a clean cloth to slow the bleeding
- Apply over-the-counter antibiotic cream.
- Use a sterile bandage to wrap the wound.
- Have the wound examined by a doctor.
Other actions following a dog bite
If you are injured by a dog, you may be able to receive compensation. In Ohio, a dog’s owner is almost always liable for an injury his or her pet caused, so if it is possible, you should exchange contact information with the dog’s owner and any witnesses.
You should also contact your local police department or animal control agency to report the injury. This will make sure there will be a record of the event, which can help you if you take legal action, but it can also help protect someone else from being bitten.
Being bitten by a dog can be a traumatic experience. That is why it is important to know ahead of time what you need to do after experiencing a dog bite.