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Barking Mad? The Do's And Don'ts Of Avoiding Dog Bites

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Dog bites can be dangerous and, in some cases, deadly. This flies in the face of everything people are taught about "humankind's best friend". However, some dogs may bite because of ill treatment in the past, being bred in a certain way, or simply snapping. If you are bitten by a dog, it's important to get medical help immediately. Follow these do's and don'ts to better prevent dog bites.

Do Ask for Permission Before Petting a Dog at a Dog Park

Some social situations seem to come with assumed permission to one another's dog. However, it's never a good idea to pet a stranger's dog without asking for permission directly from the owner. At that time, the pet owner can let you know anything important about showing affection to the dog and may even warn about possible behavioral issues. You can then make an informed decision about whether it's worth the risk. (Spoiler alert! If the dog has any issues, you should keep your distance to be on the safe side.)

Don't Approach a Unfamiliar Dog Who's On Its Own (Even if it's Really Cute)

Stay away from unfamiliar dogs. You can never know the history of a dog you encounter on the street or even the adorable poodle who's alone in your neighbor's yard. Contact a local animal rescue organization if you spot a stray dog, but don't approach it yourself. Sometimes past trauma or fear can cause even the sweetest looking dogs to act out. It's important to teach kids to not approach dogs as well.

Do Watch a Dog's Body Language

When spending time with dogs that you don't know well, pay close attention to the animal's body language. Like people, canine companions will send signs of agitation with their body language. If you notice dogs stare intensely at you, tense their body, stiffen their tail, flick their tongue, or furrow their brow, it's back to back off. Stay calm and give the dog some space.

Don't Leave Kids Alone with Animals

Make sure you have the time to supervise infants and young children around dogs before allowing canines to spend time with your kids. Never leave a young child around a dog without direct supervision. You need to be directly available to quickly pick up a young child and leave the area if you notice any change in the dog's behavior.  

Finally, if you are bitten by a dog, you should see a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. A dog bite lawyer will be able to offer expertise to help you take the right steps to protect your best interests. Seeking medical treatment should be the top priority, but getting the legal counsel you need is essential, too. With the right lawyer by your side, you can be empowered to get the compensation you deserve.