The first thing that many Florida dog lovers want to do when taking a walk is pet any dog they see passing by. However, while many dogs are people-friendly and perfectly happy to receive attention from a new person, others are often shy or prone to be aggressive to strangers. Regardless of how friendly a pet seems, any dog can and may bite when the need suits them. Luckily, there are ways that people can reduce the risk of suffering a dog bite.
First, it is wise to not approach dogs that are in their own yard and not on a leash. The dog could potentially be territorial, and approaching the territory may make the dog more likely to bite. There are also warning signs that a dog may not be comfortable with its surroundings. For example, if the dog is yawning or constantly flicking its tongue, backing away or exhibiting a still tail and tense body, the dog could feel the need to protect itself by biting.
If a person is bitten by a dog, there are several steps they should take immediately once the person is away from the dog. First, the wound should be washed with soap and water to remove any dirt or debris. The person should then seek medical care so that the injury can be properly treated. Finally, the dog should be reported to a local control agency.
When a person suffers a dog bite injury, the dog owner is always liable for any injuries that occur. If the owner refuses to compensate the injured person for the damages they sustained, the injured person may be eligible to file a lawsuit naming the dog owner as a defendant. By taking these actions, the injured person could potentially recover the cost of any medical treatment.
Source: The Humane Society, “How to Avoid a Dog Bite“, May 15, 2013