Dog Bite Prevention
Christina Reichert FNP –BC
Ouch Urgent Care located at SCU of Health Sciences
We all love our family pets but a dog bite injury can range from minor to major so it’s important to remember….the jaws of a dog are strongand can inflict serious tissue damage!! Injuries often involve the head and neck or major organs in children. A few basic tips on recognizing aggressive or fearful canine behaviors may help prevent dog bite injuries.
Who is most likely to be bitten by a dog?
- Postal carriers
Why are dog bites most likely to occur with children?
- Children can be unpredictable making loud noises, spastic movements and even steal their toys. This may cause fear and frustration in the pooch!
- Playfully, children may poke at their eyes, tug at the tails and ears causing pain for our furry friends.
How to prevent dog bites?
- Socialize your dog with other animals and people.
- Teach children – The Rules!
- Never run up to dogs they do not know
- Never pull on a tail or an ear of any dog
- Never disturb a dog while eating or sleeping
- Never play with dog unsupervised
- Never take a dog’s toy
- Never throw things at a dogs
- Always ask the owner if you can pet or feed a dog
What to do if you bitten?
- Do I need treatment?
- Yes, go to Emergency Department or Urgent Care or your primary care physician for evaluation
- Yes, an antibiotic treatment may be necessary as well as x-ray and wound cleaning
- Do I need immunization?
- Rabies treatment may be necessary.
How to recognizing aggressive behaviors in dogs?
The following behaviors may communicate fear or frustration:
- Hackles are up …hair on their back
- Snarling, growling and showing teeth
- Barking…low pitch
- Stiff tail wag lifted high or low between legs
- Holding head high or showing neck
- Glaring eyes
- Slow tail sweep low to ground – dog is analyzing situation
- Ears bent forward or lowered back
So be safe!! Remember – adopting a pet at your local animal shelter is good for the soul.