A study done in 2009 shows dogs are more likely to bite during the summer than during any other season. Young children are at the greatest risk for dog bites during the summer and are especially vulnerable to bites in the neck and head areas.
Researchers analyzed 84 cases of dog bites in kids and they could not establish why children were more prone to dog bites during the summer. We speculate that maybe it could be due to the amount of time children spend outside playing with dogs during the summer months. It could also be because dogs are more irritable during the hotter months.
If you think that only stray dogs are the main culprits for dog bites, you should know that family pets cause 27 percent of dog bites. Researchers found that dogs bite their victims on the cheeks, lips, nose or ears. Children suffer bite wounds in more than one location. Pit bulls are more commonly involved in dog bite attacks more than any other dog breed.
Dog bites account for 1 percent of emergency room visits in the United States. So what are the main reasons for dog bites?
Unfamiliar settings and faces can make a dog bite out of fear. Never sneak up or awaken a sleeping dog and you should teach your children to never do these things. Since more people are likely to take their dogs out for a walk during warmer months, you should avoid approaching unfamiliar dogs.
Socialize your dog while it is still young to minimize the risk of a phobia developing. For instance, the first vet visit should just be something social so that the dog can get a feel of the clinic and meet the vet staff.
Herding breeds and guard dogs are the worst offenders when it comes to possessiveness but this behavior can arise in any type of dog breed. Dogs will bite if they feel they need to do so to protect their owners, property, food, toy, etc.
You need to minimize possessive behavior in your dog early on to prevent aggression. You can start by teaching them to wait while you pour food into their bowls. Approach the food bowl and occasionally add a treat to the food. This way, the dog will learn that someone approaching the food bowl is not there to take it away. You should also teach your children not to disturb a dog while it’s eating.
Prey drive is triggered by cycling or running past a dog, which in turn results in a chase. You should always be aware of your environment while you are jogging. If a dog gives chase, stop running and stand tall but don’t make eye contact, otherwise the dog might see it as a challenge. The dog might come up and sniff you but will lose interest and move on to something better.
If your dog has any kind of injury, try as much as possible to handle it gently. It’s best to tell your children to stay away from the dog or avoid touching the sore areas. Schedule an appointment with your vet if your dog becomes snippy for no reason. It could be because it was injured or it’s in pain.
If you have a dog that has whelped recently, make sure you find a place where it can stay with its puppies with minimal distraction. Even the most well trained dog can become bitter when it has puppies. Teach your children not to disturb a dog with puppies. You should be cautious while handling a dog with puppies.
How to Prevent Dog Bites in the Summer.
- If you are having a summer party, don’t forget to tend to your dog’s needs too
- If you take your dog out on a walk, don’t let it wander into playgrounds
- Don’t allow your child to walk a dog without adult supervision
- If your child is playing near or with a dog, always ensure there’s an adult there to supervise
- Never leave your child alone with a dog even if it is a family pet. As we’ve mentioned earlier, family owned pets cause 27 percent of dog bites.
- Don’t leave your dog in the hot sun.
- Give your dog a place to rest, away from over-stimulation. Make sure that place is far away from kids.
- Make sure your dog is hydrated at all times. Remember that if you are feeling hot and thirsty, your dog probably is.
What to do if You are Bitten by a Dog
Kids are prone to dog bites because of their inability to protect themselves. They also do not understand that some of their actions can provoke an animal. But even a dog can bite an adult even when it’s not been provoked. If you or a child ever gets bitten by a dog, you should:
- Place a clean towel over the bitten area to stop bleeding.
- Wash the area with soap and water. This brings down the risk of rabies by 50% since the virus is found in the dog’s saliva.
- Apply a sterile bandage to the wound.
- Take your child to the nearest health facility.
Always ensure that all pets in your house are up-to-date with their vaccinations.
When Should You Contact a Plymouth Dog Bite Lawyer?
If someone else’s dog in Plymouth has bitten you or your child, you need to contact a dog bite lawyer ASAP. Less than 1% of dog bite victims get compensated so without a lawyer, you have very little chance of getting justice.
You might get 10-20% from an insurance adjuster while they keep 80-90%. If you hire a Plymouth dog bite lawyer working on a contingency fee basis, they will only take 33% of your compensation while you end up with 66%. This is far better than getting a mere 10%.
If you attempt to pursue a dog claim on your own, there’s a high chance you’ll confront the dog owner, put them in a bad light, make them feel guilty or worse, threaten them.
That’s not how our dog bite lawyers at Kevin P. Landry Offices operate. We will conduct an investigation of your dog bite claim including assembling all incident reports, interviewing witnesses and collecting any other necessary evidence to support your claim.
Contact one of our lawyers in Plymouth by dialing 508-746-2700 or by visiting our offices today for a free initial consultation.