No one expects to end up in the hospital because of a dog. Most dogs are friendly and love being around people. If you’ve been around dogs all your life, you’re probably comfortable with them and enjoy being around them, too.
Unfortunately, even the best-behaved family pet can lose its temper, become aggressive due to illness or attack due to fear. A single snap could lead to broken bones, deep wounds and the risk of a potentially dangerous infection.
The good news is that it’s easy to prevent bites, even when a dog is already showing signs of discomfort or aggression. Here are three tips to help:
1. If you’re being approached, turn sideways
One good tip for those being approached by a dog is to turn sideways and to look away. Try your best not to make eye contact, even if you want to monitor where the dog is. If a dog doesn’t feel challenged, then it’s less likely to bite.
2. Back away if you hear growling or see teeth
Dogs that are uncomfortable are usually going to give a warning. This might be in the form of growls or by baring the teeth. If you see a dog start these behaviors, stop what you’re doing and slowly back away. Giving the dog space normally resolves the problem and allows them to calm back down.
3. Wait for the owner to take the dog away
Finally, if there is a dog showing signs of aggression and the owner is present, ask them to remove it from the area. They may leash it if outside, place it in a separate room or otherwise make sure it’s a safe distance away before you approach them.
These three tips can help mitigate an already dangerous situation. If you are bitten by a dog, make sure you seek medical attention.