Dog Bites

Safety tips for dog owners

• Before getting a dog, seek the advice of a veterinarian about which dog is right for your family and your lifestyle.
• Socialize your dog so it feels at ease around people and other animals.
• Don't put your dog in situations where it may feel threatened or be teased.
• Follow leash laws. Don't let your dog roam freely.
•Train your dog to consistently obey basic commands such as "stay," "sit," and "come."
• Keep your dog healthy with regular check-ups and a vaccination program tailored to your dog's needs.
• See a veterinarian promptly if your dog is sick or injured. Illness and pain can make a dog more likely to bite.
• Don't play aggressive games with your dog.
• Spay or neuter your dog.
• Confine your dog in a fenced yard or dog run when it is not in the house. Never tether or chain your dog because this can contribute to aggressive behavior.

Safety tips for adults and children

• Never approach an unfamiliar dog.
• If approached by an unfamiliar dog, stand still like a tree.
• Never run from a dog and never scream around a dog.
• If you believe a dog is about to attack you, try to place something between yourself and the dog, such as a backpack or a bicycle.
• If a dog knocks you over, roll into a ball, cover your face and stay still.
• Children should never play with dogs unless supervised by an adult.
• Children should tell an adult if they see a stray dog or a dog acting strangely.
• Don't look a dog right in the eye.
• Don't disturb a dog that is-sleep-ing, eating, or caring for puppies.
• Don't play with a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first. Children should never approach a dog unless supervised by an adult.
•Adults should never leave an infant or young child alone with any dog, not even the family pet.

If bitten

• Seek medical attention immediately.
• Control bleeding and wash the area of the bite with soap and water.
• Because serious dog bites can cause scarring, ask emergency room personnel for a plastic surgeon certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery. This ensures that the doctor is uniquely qualified to perform reconstructive and cosmetic procedures on the face and all areas of the body.
• Report the bite to your local public health department, animal control agency, or police.
• Provide authorities with an accurate description of the dog, the circumstances surrounding the bite, and the dog owner's identity, if known.