If you have ever been the victim of a dog attack, you are among more than five million people across the United States each year who suffer injuries due to a dog bite.
According to the World Wide Pet Industry Association (WWPIA), the oldest nonprofit organization that promotes responsible pet care, every year in the U.S. the cost relating to dog bites is more than $1 billion. Be aware of animals in your community and take preventative steps whenever you encounter a dog--even if it's one you know well.
Whether you live in North Carolina or elsewhere, you can understand dog behavior better no matter where you encounter a dog. Here are some safety tips from the WWPIA:
- Always ask before petting a dog. You should always ask the dog’s owner before petting it, as some may not be properly socialized and attack a stranger who attempts to pet them.
- Be careful. If a dog’s hair is standing up, do not pet him. Hair standing up is generally a sign of anger or irritability, meaning the dog does not wish to be touched.
- Manner matters. You should never approach a dog from behind or make loud or abrupt movements during your approach. A dog will not like being surprised, especially by a stranger.
- Use common sense. You should keep away from a dog that is eating or sleeping, as it could be caught by surprise or become territorial.
- Educate your kids. Most victims injured by a dog are children, half of which are bites to the face. You should teach your kids the previous tips and supervise their behavior around unfamiliar dogs.
Our dog bite attorneys in Raleigh have another post on how to educate children on safe behavior around dogs.