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Ways to help avoid dog bites

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People love their dogs. They become part of the family. Many dogs live in homes, and studies show they can reduce stress and even lower blood pressure. Unfortunately, domestic animals can sometimes return to their primal roots. Dog bites can happen at any time.

The Center for Disease Control and Protection states that dogs bite about 4.5 million people each year in the United States. Almost 20% of those bites lead to infection.

Children are the most common victims of dog bites. Children should not be left with more than half of all recorded injuries stemming from dog bites happen at home with dogs the victims knew and were familiar with.

The Do’s and Don’ts with Dogs

The CDC also has some basic recommendations for minimizing your chances of being bitten. For example, do not make any unexpected movements when approached by an unfamiliar dog. If you find yourself taken down to the ground by a dog, curl into a ball and protect your head with your hands. And let someone know right away if there are stray dogs or dogs that are behaving unusually in the neighborhood.

There are also a few general behaviors to avoid with dogs so we don’t provoke them. Do not make direct eye contact with a dog or stand with your body facing it directly. These are indicators of aggression in the animal world. Do not run from a dog, as they have the instinct to chase and will always catch you. Do not make loud noises or disturb a dog while it is sleeping or eating.

Of course, much of the responsibility for domestic dog bites rests upon the owner. In fact, from a legal standpoint, all of the responsibility for dog bites lies with the owner. California law dictates strict liability in dog bite cases, placing the full weight of the accident on the owner.

If you own a dog, as so many Americans do, it’s your duty to take preventive action. Heed the advice of world-renowned dog expert Cesar Milan. CesarsWay.com outlines a few important points:

  • Get your dogs spayed or neutered
  • Keep them up to date on vaccinations
  • Train your dogs from an early age to be submissive
  • Do not play aggressive games with your dogs
  • Visit your veterinarian regularly. While your vet will keep vaccinations up to date, he or she can also diagnose doggie dementia early on. Dementia can cause increased aggression in dogs.

Coping with a canine strike

Even if you practice all the above, some dogs will attack anyway. Stray dogs, dogs that have been victims of animal abuse, and dogs whose owners do not train them well can be a risk to anyone. Minor dog bites happen frequently, although their likelihood can be reduced.

If you or a loved one has suffered a severe dog bite that resulted in injury, you need a lawyer with expertise in this area to represent you. Contact the Los Angeles Injury Group today to schedule a free consultation.

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