The Best Ideas to Avoid Dog Bites
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that approximately 4.7 million dog bites happen across the United States each year – an average of 1 out of every 69 people. Roughly 800,000 incidents result in injured parties seeking medical treatment.
An article in Canine Journal discusses the risk factors involved in dog bites and how you can avoid them in the first place.
What are the risk factors in dog bites?
It’s first important to understand why dogs bite. According to the article, dog bites occur due to:
- A dog’s reaction to a stressful situation
- A reaction to being scared or feeling threatened
- To protect their puppies or owners
- A reaction to not feeling well or being startled
- Friendly biting during rough play
The article also identifies the breeds that are most likely to bite. These include:
- Pit bulls
- German shepherds
- Australian shepherds
- Lhasa Apsos
- Jack Russell Terriers
- Cocker spaniels
- Bull terriers
According to the CDC, it’s possible to contract diseases and infections from dog bites, including:
- Rabies – a fatal disease transmitted through saliva that may affect the brain. This disease can be treated through a vaccination.
- Capnocytophaga bacteria – while infection from this type of bacteria is rare, it may affect people with weakened immune systems.
- Pasteurella – this bacterial infection is the most common among dog bites and can cause inflammation at the site of the bite. Symptoms can worsen in people with weakened immune systems.
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) – This type of infection is often resistant to certain antibiotics can result in serious health complications or death.
- Tetanus – a toxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium tetani, Tetanus can result in rigid paralysis, especially in deep bite wounds.
Pet Comments identifies the breeds with the strongest bites based on pound per square inch or pound-force per square inch (PSI). These include:
- Kangal – This breed is known for having the strongest bite at 743 PSI
- Bandog – 730 PSI
- Cane Corso – 700 PSI
- Dogue De Bordeaux – 556 PSI
- Tosa Inu – 556 PSI
- English Mastiffs – 556 PSI
- Dogo Canario – 540 PSI
- Dogo Argentino – 500 PSI
Protecting yourself from dog bites
It’s important to note that some of the breeds identified are outlawed in many parts of the world, including the United States. Identifying which breeds are most likely to bite or inflict serious injury is not an intended bias towards any breed. With proper training and care, these breeds are generally safe.
Dog bites may be prevented simply by taking the following precautions:
- Avoid approaching any animal you’re not familiar with. Some dogs may feel threatened by strangers.
- If approached by a dog, don’t run or panic. Simply remain motionless and avoid direct eye contact.
- If a dog is eating, sleeping, or caring for its puppies, keep your distance.
- Avoid petting a dog until after it has sniffed and smelled you. Be sure to pet under the chin as opposed to the head.
- If you see a stray dog or dog exhibiting unusual behavior, simply report it to your local animal control.
- In the event a dog knocks you to the ground, be sure to roll into ball and remain motionless. Avoid eye contact and use your hands and arms to cover your neck and ears.
- Avoid aggressive play with dogs.
While taking these precautions may help prevent a serious injury or death, dog bites can, at times, be unpredictable and occur unprovoked. If you or a loved one was hurt because a dog’s owner failed to properly train or care for the animal, it’s crucial that you discuss your matter with an experienced Maryland personal injury lawyer.
You can count on the legal team at the Law Offices of Stuart L. Plotnick, LLC to thoroughly investigate the cause of your injury and fight tirelessly to hold negligent parties accountable. Don’t wait to get started. Contact our law office today for a free consultation.