Many people think that the greatest danger of dog bites comes from unknown animals, whether strays or strangers’ pets. While a bite from an unknown animal is certainly possible, you are more likely to receive one from a dog that you already know, perhaps your own pet or one belonging to a family member or friend.
A dog bite can cause disfiguring injury and psychological trauma, as well as potentially exposing you to disease. It is better to avoid a dog bite if at all possible. Petful offers some tips to keep yourself safe.
1. Know the situations in which a dog is likely to bite
Dogs can bite for many reasons, but a bite is more likely in certain situations. A dog may feel possessive over food and bite to protect it. Dogs are also more likely to bite when they are scared. Once you recognize the situations in which a dog may be likely to bite, it is easier for you to avoid them.
2. Stay calm
If you react to an aggressive dog with panic and agitation, it can escalate the situation. Despite your fear, you should try to remain calm and relaxed. This communicates to the dog that you are less of a threat than you initially appeared to be.
3. Avoid eye contact
An aggressive dog regards it as a challenge if you look it in the eye. Observe the dog cautiously but do not make direct eye contact.
4. Avoid roughhousing
This is probably not an issue with a strange dog, but since most dog bites come from familiar animals, it is a good rule for you and your own pets. Wrestling or roughhousing can start out as a fun game, but the dog can get too caught up in it.