Dog Bite Safety: Stats, Facts, and Tips

By Stewart Law Offices
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Dog bite

Dogs are a man’s best friend, so they say. While the majority of dogs are friendly and harmless, any canine – regardless of breed, size, age, or gender – is capable of biting if provoked. Read below to learn more about dog bites and what you can do to prevent them…

Dog Bites Facts

Just how much of a problem are dog bites? Check out these facts and figures from the American Veterinary Medical Association:

  • 36.5% of American homes have at least one dog.
  • Each year, approximately 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs.
  • Almost one in five dog bites (800,000 per year) require medical attention.
  • Children are the most common victims of dog bites, accounting for nearly half of all incidents.
  • Dog bites account for one-third of all homeowners’ liability insurance claims, costing nearly $570 million.
  • The average payment by insurers for dog bite claims is over $37,000.

Why Do Dogs Bite?

Dogs can bite for several reasons, including:

  • Fear. It is important to be conscious of your actions and how they affect nearby dogs.
  • Protection. They could see you as a threat to their owner, puppies, or even their favorite toy.
  • Sickness. When dogs are sick or in pain, they may become overly aggressive.
  • Redirected Aggression. Don’t put yourself in harm’s way by interacting with a pup who is already riled up. A classic example of this is attempting to break up a dogfight.
  • Poor Training. It’s possible that a dog may simply bite because it is poorly trained.

How to Prevent Dog Bites

Nearly all dog bites are preventable. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind the next time you are around a dog:

  • Avoid aggressive games, such as tug of war.
  • Keep your distance. Don’t immediately approach a dog you are not familiar with.
  • Spay or neuter your dog. Fixed dogs are three times less likely to attack.
  • Avoid making eye contact, which can make a dog feel intimidated and scared.
  • Don’t disturb dogs that are eating, sleeping, nursing, or playing.

Know the signs that a dog is about to bite. These include a tensed body, stiff tail, pulled-back ears, a furrowed brow, and exposed teeth.

What to Do If You Are Bitten By a Dog

It is important to take proper care of a dog bite so that it does not become infected. If you are bitten by a dog, follow these steps:

  • Immediately wash the wound thoroughly with soap and warm water.
  • Gently dry the wound with a clean towel and apply a bandage.
  • Report the bite to your local animal control agency.
  • If the injury is serious, contact your physician for additional care.
  • If your wound is severe enough to warrant medical attention, consider contacting a personal injury lawyer to recover compensation for your damages.

If you have been the victim of a dog attack in South Carolina or North Carolina, the personal injury attorneys at Stewart Law Offices are ready to represent you. Contact us online to get started with a free case evaluation, or call 866-783-9278.

Getting in any kind of accident can change your life. We understand the stress, the medical bills, the time missed from work, and the pain and suffering that comes with serious injuries. That is why our dedicated personal injury lawyers in the Carolinas are here to help you move forward.