What to Do When a Dog Bites You

We encounter dogs in downtown Hamilton, Ohio on an almost daily basis. With several parks near The Richards Firm and more people living downtown, we see owners walking their dogs frequently.  That adds another layer of ambience to the revival of Hamilton, Ohio.

We know many people own dogs, and we do not in any way intend to undercut that idyllic scene. Unfortunately, the Center for Disease Control produced a study in 2019 that detailed an estimate 4.5 million dog bites in the United States every year.  Of those attacks, 800,000 result in medical care. The population of the United States is approximately 328.2 million people, which means something on the order of 1 in every 73 people suffered a dog bite last year.

Dogs bite for a number of reasons such as reacting to a stressful situation or some behavior that scares them.  Sometimes they bite to protect themselves or their owners.  And sometimes, dogs nip, nibble, and chew as part of playing that can become too rough when they are overly excited.  Several studies suggest that whether a dog is neutered or spayed can dramatically affect its penchant to bite.

The American Kennel Club recommends the following tips to prevent dog bites:

1. Always ask ‘may I pet your dog.’

2. Present the back of your hand for a dog to smell.

3. Do not run toward a dog.

4. Never bark or growl at a dog.

5. All dogs can bite because all dogs have teeth.

6. Never leave young children and dogs unattended.

7. Teach proper manners around the dog for everyone in the family.

8. Stand like a tree around loose dogs.

9. Service dogs are working and should not be bothered. 10. A dog is not a person.[1]

The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends avoiding these ten scenarios:

1. If the dog is not with his owner.

2. If the dog is with his owner but the owner does not give permission to pet the dog.

3. If the dog is on the other side of a fence, don’t reach through or over it to touch the dog.

4. If a dog is sleeping or eating.

5. If a dog is sick or injured.

6. If a dog is resting with puppies or seems very protective of them and anxious about your presence.

7. If a dog is playing with a toy.

8. If the dog is a service dog. 9. If the dog is growling or barking.

10. If the dog appears to be hiding or seeking time alone in its “special place.”[2]

Those suggested precautions may seem relatively simple, but they are easily forgotten when faced with the opportunity to pet and play with a dog.  Again, dogs are animals with teeth. Even dogs with no history of attacks can turn violent at any time.

Liability carriers offer homeowners insurance policies as well as specific dog liability policies to cover claims that result from dog attacks.  In fact, as many as one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claims result from dog bites or attacks.

The Richards Firm has handled numerous dog bite cases.  If you need a dog bite attorney, contact us today at 513-868-2731, et 219. You can visit  a dog bite lawyer at The Richards Firm online at richardsinjuryfirm.com. We look forward to helping dog bite victims in Hamilton, Ohio and the areas surrounding Butler County, Ohio.

[1] See Prevent Dog Bites- 10 Tips from AKC Canine Ambassadors, available at https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/10-tips-prevent-dog-bites/
[2] See Dog Bite Prevention: Top Ten Scenarios to Avoid, available at https://www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/dog-bite-prevention-top-ten-scenarios-avoid.