Unfortunately, aggressive animals, especially dogs, can be a part of a PMPs everyday life. By entering other people’s home, you are also entering the home of a potentially aggressive animal. The risk of a dog bite is real, but what can we do to protect ourselves as well as the animals?
In the US, there are an estimated 78 million dogs and nearly half of all households have a dog as a pet.
Appox 4.5 million total bites each yearMost dog bites occur in the home and there are approximately 4.5 million total bites each year.
Size Doesn't Matter
The size and breed of the dog is not necessarily indicative of a likeliness to bite or severity of a bite. Obviously, larger dogs have bigger jaws and more jaw strength, but small dogs can be aggressive as well. While some statistics identify various breeds as “more likely to bite,” any dog can bite if injured, afraid, or feels threatened.
If you encounter an aggressive dog:
- Stay Calm
- Remain Still
- Pay attention to dog body language.
- Are the dog’s ears pinned back?
- Is the dog yawning? Yawning is generally a warning sign as the dog is showing their teeth.
- Intense eye contact is also a warning sign.
- Keep something between you and the aggressive dog such as a piece of equipment, jacket, etc.
- Attempt to pet an unfamiliar dog
- Try to bribe the dog with treats or food
What should you do in the case you get a dog bite?
For minor wounds, clean the wound thoroughly with soap and water and apply an antibiotic ointment or cream. Cover the wound and contact healthcare if the wound begins to show signs of infection or if you develop a fever.
For more extensive wounds, wound care is imperative.
Call emergency response, or go to the nearest emergency roomFirst, slow bleeding by applying pressure with a clean cloth. If the bleeding does not slow, call emergency response or go to the nearest emergency room.
Always, if you have been bitten and the dog is acting or behaving strangely, consult a healthcare professional.