Tips for Preventing and Avoiding Dog Bites

Posted on behalf of Jeff Pitman on August 9, 2017 in Dog Bites
Updated on April 25, 2024

pit bull dogMost people view dogs as loyal and trusting animals, which makes it all the more devastating when one attacks and causes serious injury.

You should always be cautious when you encounter a dog, regardless of if you are familiar with the animal. In order to help prevent a dog bite, the reliable Milwaukee dog bite attorneys at PKSD have provided these important tips for you and your loved ones to follow.

However, if you are attacked and injured by a hostile dog, we are ready to help you fight for the compensation you deserve for your medical expenses and pain and suffering.

Safety Tips When Interacting with a Dog

Each year in the U.S., more than 4.5 million people are injured in dog attacks. Nearly one in five of these victims will require medical attention after being bitten, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Because of this, you should always be careful with each dog you interact with by:

  • Never approaching or attempting to interact with an unfamiliar dog
  • Always reporting a dog that is displaying signs of aggression or behaving in strange manner
  • Never playing rough with a dog or encouraging it to behave roughly with others
  • Allowing a dog to smell you and become familiar with you before you pet it
  • Never making eye contact with an unfamiliar or aggressive dog
  • Displaying dominance when interacting with a dog, including using a firm voice
  • Never coming between a hostile female dog and her puppies
  • Never petting or interacting with a dog while it is eating or sleeping
  • Never allowing a small child to play with a dog while he or she is unsupervised

If you are approached by a dog that is behaving aggressively, following these tips may help you avoid an attack:

  • Remain motionless or as still as possible throughout the encounter
  • Stay calm and do not panic, yell or act excited
  • Stand at an angle to avoid directly facing the dog
  • Do not run if you are approached by a hostile dog
  • Do not make eye contact with a dog showing aggression
  • Wait until the dog has moved a safe distance and slowly back away

What to Do if You Have Suffered a Dog Bite

A dog bite can leave you with severe injuries that can lead to infection and other serious medical conditions. Although you may not expect to be attacked by a dog, you should be prepared for what to do if an attack were to happen:

  • Protect yourself by using personal articles, such as thick clothing, a jacket or a purse to block the dog from biting and piercing your skin.
  • If you are knocked to the ground, curl your body into a ball and use your arms and hands to cover your head, neck and ears.
  • Find a safe shelter as soon as the attack has ended and immediately clean out your wounds with water and soap.
  • Seek medical treatment for any bite or scratch injury as soon as possible.
  • Report the dog bite to local law enforcement as well as animal control and inform them of the breed, size and gender of the dog that attacked you.
  • If possible, locate the dog’s owner and obtain his or her name, phone number and home address. You should also find out if the dog has been vaccinated for rabies or has a history of showing signs of aggression or attacking others.
  • If the dog has been vaccinated for rabies, collect the vaccine license number and the contact information of the veterinarian who administered the vaccine.

In Wisconsin, the owner of a dog is liable for the full amount of damages his or her dog caused to another person, domesticated animal or property.

However, under Wisconsin’s dog bite law, if the owner of the dog was aware that the animal had a history of attacking people or domesticated animals, the owner can be held liable for twice the damages.

If the dog has a history of aggression and violent attacks that resulted in causing injury, the animal can be euthanized, according to Wis. Stat. § 174.02.

An Attorney Can Help You

If you were attacked and injured by an aggressive dog, our trusted personal injury attorneys in Milwaukee are ready to help you determine if you are owed compensation for your pain and suffering.

We will provide you with a free, no obligation legal consultation to review your claim and find out whether the dog’s owner can be held liable for the attack. Our clients are charged on a contingency fee basis, which means you will only have to pay us if we recover compensation for your claim.

Call 414-333-3333 or complete our Free Case Evaluation form today.

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