Dogs are commonly referred to as “man’s best friend,” but a seemingly innocent interaction with a dog can turn potentially dangerous the moment it feels threatened. According to the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, more than 350,000 dog bite victims are sent to the emergency room each year – some of whom suffer from permanent nerve damage, facial scarring, and infection. While most of your interactions with dogs will be harmless, you always want to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself if a dog lashes out.
Give The Dog Space
Many people are tempted to hug dogs tightly as a sign of affection, but most dogs feel suffocated and threatened when held tightly and firmly. Children especially are known to place their face on a dog’s neck
when hugging them, which puts them at risk if the dog attacks.
Notice Body Language
A dog that feels anxious will display some signs – a stiff tail, bared teeth, growling, and a furrowed brow are all signs of a dog that feels threatened. If you encounter a dog who is showcasing signs of anxiety,
try and back away slowly, giving yourself as much space as possible between you and the animal. If you feel as though it may attack, do not turn around and run. Dogs can view this as an invitation to chase after you.
Properly Introduce Yourself
Communicating with a dog in a way is seen as non-threatening is key, especially during your initial interactions. The best way to introduce yourself is to hold your hand out and allow the dog to come to you. Under no circumstances should you ever surprise a dog or disturb it while it is sleeping, eating, chewing a toy, or nursing puppies.
New York laws about dog bites hold the owner of the dog liable for the victim’s injuries. If you’ve suffered from a dog attack, don’t hesitate to contact Scarzafava, Basdekis & Dadey, PLLC. The road to recovery is
too painful to face alone. We will proudly stand by you every step of the way.