What to Do When Bitten by a Dog: A Guide
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This is a collaborative post with Marina on dog bites.
When you walk out of your door to go for a stroll, you’re likely not expecting to be bitten by a dog. And yet, it’s something that happens to many people every year. Most commonly, dogs bite strangers. Although it is possible to be bittern by your own dog as well, of course. As runners, we are constantly on the lookout for dogs. Every one says their dog is sweet and nice, yet dogs still bite.
Being bitten by a dog can be a terrifying and serious experience. We’re here to share a few steps that you can take if a dog ever bites you.
Table of Contents
Remove Yourself From Danger
Sorry to state the obvious, but the first step is to get away from the dog. You can click here for some tips on dealing with an aggressive dog so that you don’t anger it even more and risk another attack.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if your injuries don’t seem severe, you should consider seeing a doctor. Shallow wounds from dog bites can be just as serious as deep wounds, which is why you need them treated as soon as possible.
You might also want to consider having a first aid kit on you as well so that you can keep any injuries under control until you get to a doctor.
Document Your Injuries
It’s a good idea to document your injuries from a dog bite for several reasons.
- Keeping track of your injuries can help your doctor monitor your healing.
- Your medical insurance provider may require evidence of the attack.
- It can help if you do decide to take legal action.
Be sure to take various photos of any injuries you got during the incidents. You may also want to write down exactly what happened while it’s still fresh in your mind. Simply jot down the events on a piece of paper or a notes app. If you can take a pic of the dog that bit you shortly after it happens your smartphone should also be able to show when and where it happened.
Get The Owner’s Details
Next, be sure to get the owner’s details, so that you can contact them if you decide to take any further steps. If anyone witnessed the biting incident, you should ask for their contact details as well. If they are unwilling to give you their information, take a picture of them.
Consider Legal Action
Many people don’t take legal action when they are bitten by a dog, especially if the incident wasn’t severe. However, if you were seriously injured, you may have a lot of medical bills to pay, and this often leads to people filing a lawsuit against the owner of the dog, especially if they were negligent.
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It may surprise you to learn that 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year, so it might be a good idea to get an attorney who specializes in personal injury cases if you do decide to take legal steps. This way, you will have a better chance of winning your case.
No one wants or expects to be bitten by a dog. Knowing what to do after a dig bite can make the situation a little bit worse.
As runners and parents we ask that you keep your dog on a leash. We know your dog is special, but dogs do bite. Please don’t let yours bite.
See also The Pros (And Cons) Of Owning A Dog
Erin is the mother of identical twin girls and their slightly older brother. She is a domestic engineer, and previously had a career leading customer service teams for a major HVAC company. Cleaning without harsh chemicals, and cooking easy and usually healthy meals are part of Erin's daily life. She volunteers with youth leaders, and genuinely wants to help others win. Erin has a degree in Communications, with a focus on Broadcast Journalism.