Dogs are lovable beings, and we may not like to think of them as aggressive or causing any harm to us. However, we cannot always expect the same behavior from animals we don’t know, especially if we’re unfamiliar with how their owner treats them or if they have sensitivities and triggers that make them attack. Around 4.5 million dog bites happen in the United States every year, so it’s better to know what to do if you do undergo this experience.
- Resolve it with the owner
Make sure you speak to the owner about this incident. If they were there and they witnessed the bite happen, make sure they own up to the occurrence. Resolving this conflict is important so that you can move forward with the next steps, and the owner can be aware of their dog displaying any behaviors out of character.
If you are certain that you did not incite any ill behavior from the dog, you have the right to ask the pet owner to compensate you and get your wounds treated medically.
Preferably, this should be done peacefully, but there are instances when the owner gets defensive and refuses to compensate you or even outright denies your claim. In these cases, it would be wise to reach out to a personal injury attorney. In Salt Lake City, this is one of the more common disputes that need to be handled, so there are experts who can help you get your due lawfully.
- Treat the wound
First aid is essential to avoid bacteria and infection, and this will depend on the severity of the bite. It would be best to get to an emergency room or bite center as soon as possible if the bite penetrated the skin and caused a lot of bleeding.
Whether the wound is minor or a little more severe, though, the first course of action should be to wash it out properly with soap and water once the bleeding has been quelled. Cover it with a sterile bandage afterward. Make sure you know if your tetanus shots are up to date, and if it’s been a few years since your last one, it would be wise to get a new booster to be safe.
- Get tested and treated for rabies
In the aftermath of it, you need to take the necessary precautions to allow your wound to heal properly and cleanly. If you cannot confirm whether or not the dog is a carrier of rabies, this should be at the top of your list of things to check on.
You can go to a medical care facility and request to be tested. They will most likely also ask questions about the nature of the dog to see if he displayed any symptoms of rabies. From there, they will determine whether you need to get shots.
It’s better to be prepared if something like this happens. If a dog bites you, make sure you treat your wound properly and take the correct measures afterward.