Avoiding Dog Bites
If a dog is properly trained and socialized, it will understand how to approach people in a friendly and polite manner. In the event that a dog is stressed or worried, it will generally give several warning signs that it does not want to be near you. Understanding these warning signs may prevent you from getting bit and having to seek treatment. Some of these signs are listed below:
- tense body
- stiff tail
- ears pulled back
- furrowed brow
- whites of eyes visible
- intense stare
- backing away
Avoiding a Dog Bite Through Respect for the Dog’s Space
Just like you respect physical boundaries when you meet a person for the first time, you will want to respect physical boundaries when you meet a dog for the first time. Never touch the dog or get too close to it without its permission. If a dog is growling, showing its teeth or barking at you, it does not want to be approached. The same is true if its face is tense or it is retreating from you as you approach.
Avoiding a Dog Bite During Play
Dogs may nip at you during play sessions or when it is happy but overly excited. For example, labradors have a natural tendency to put things in their mouths, which means that they may try to bite or grip your hand even during play. This can result in a painful bite even if there was no intention to harm you. To calm an excited dog down, you can turn your back to it. The dog will take this as a sign that you don’t want that type of attention.
Avoiding a Bite Related to Resource Guarding
Resource guarding is something that all living things do as a means of survival. Dogs will guard their toys, their food and their territory from other dogs or any other person or animal that is deemed a threat. Therefore, you may put yourself at risk of a bite or an attack by getting between the dog and its toys or its food. You can avoid such a fate by taking a few steps back until it calms down.
What To Do If You’re Bitten
If you have been bitten by a dog, you should seek medical attention immediately. For minor wounds that haven’t broken the skin, you should wash the effected area with soap and hot water. You should then wrap the wound in gauze or place a sterile bandage over it to keep it clean while it heals.
In the event that the wound has broken the skin, you will want to go to the hospital or have your doctor treat it as soon as possible. You could be at risk of an infection that could result in the loss of your fingers or toes, and it is possible to lose an entire limb if the infection is bad enough. It will also be important to stop any bleeding that may occur and reset any broken or fractured bones.
While no one wants to be bitten by a dog, there are plenty of ways to avoid them. By understanding how a dog thinks, you can take steps to interact with them peacefully regardless of how old they are or what type of breed it may be.