How to Prevent Dog Bites and What to Do if You’re a Victim

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Dog bites may seem unpredictable to some, but that’s often because many lack understanding of what causes these attacks in the first place. When you learn a bit more about how dogs think, you can start to act properly around them and avoid attacks. This is also something that should be taught to children from a young age. Let’s take a look at why dogs attack, what you can do to prevent them from attacking, and what you should do if you are bitten by a dog.

Why Do Dog Attacks Occur?

Dog attacks can occur for several reasons. In some cases, this will be because the dog was afraid or irritated by something the person did. It might seem totally innocent at times too.

For example, getting too close to a dog and smiling right in their face might be interpreted as a sign of aggression to them. That’s because showing teeth is a way to assert dominance amongst dogs, and they might see you smiling as a challenge.

However, there are some cases when attacks are completely unprovoked. The dog might be upset and react to something that had absolutely nothing to do with the victim. They just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. There are also cases when the dog acts out due to an illness they are suffering from.

Behaviors to Avoid Around Dogs

There are many things that you should never do around dogs. We mentioned petting dogs too close or showing your teeth. Many people also suffer from bites after trying to kiss their dog. This is only something you should do if you are comfortable with the dog and it has a gentle temperament. In any other case, you’re asking for trouble. Your face should never be close to a dog’s, period.

You should also never show direct aggression to a dog. Do not slap, tease, or kick a dog. This might sound obvious to some, but not to a child. Do not wave your hands in front of their faces or get them to chase you. Do not touch strange dogs, and never pull on their ears or tail.

Interestingly, most injuries from bites occur inside the owner’s home. This is often because the dog hasn’t been properly socialized, as is often the case with shelter dogs. In this case, you need to get them used to being around people from a young age if possible.

What to Do if You’ve Been Bitten

If you were bitten by a dog, the very first thing you have to do is clean the wound with water and soap. Then, apply a sterile cloth over the wound to stop the blood flow. You should then use an antiseptic ointment to prevent infections and always look for signs like swelling, tenderness, and if you feel radiating heat coming from the wound.

Then you need to seek both medical and legal help. A lawyer will be able to get you compensated for any injury you may have suffered. Firms like Horst Shewmaker are used to these types of cases and will help you receive compensation both for your medical costs and any loss you may have suffered as a result.


If you want to avoid dog bites, make sure that you follow our advice. Also, know what recourse you may have should the worst happen.

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About Kristin

Master reviewer of all types of products. Love XL Fountain Sodas!! Cheer Mom extraordinaire. Socialite to all things small town and founder of Come socialize and connect with me.


  1. Another thing to watch for….a blue line coming from the wound site. A friend had no pain, swelling or redness, but a day later noticed a blue line coming from the bite and it turned out to be blood poisoning. Her bite barely cut into her skin and she cleaned it well too. Best to keep an eye on it for a few days…

  2. megan allen says

    Thank you for sharing this information! We love dogs and all animals but it is important to be educated!

  3. These are really good points to make, as just about anyone can be a victim of a dog bite if not careful. My oldest daughter loves animals and believes them all to be wonderful, however I do not like that she always tries to hug and kiss them. I try to explain to her that they don’t all like that, and no dog is the same. I have known someone that had to put their own dog to sleep after getting her nose bitten off by it. Thank you so much for sharing.

  4. Bailey Swicegood says

    A lot of parents are at fault for letting their child aggravate the animal. It’s not cute that.your kid jumps on your cat, and kicks the dog.

  5. Kelly Kimmell says

    I was bitten by a dog when I worked for a veterinarian. It was a scary experience. I am sure it was just because the dog was afraid of the vet’s office.

  6. Dana Rodriguez says

    Great advice. I personally have never gotten bitten by a dog but I have owned a couple that would bite strangers.

  7. I’ve actually been bitten by my own dog – who was dog agressive (fear) and other owners were clueless to even a leash emblazened with “NO DOGS” in bold letters “Oh my dog is friendly”

  8. Shannon Gilchrist says

    ALways make sure you contact the insurance company of the owner of the dog so that all your medical bills aew taken care of.


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