National Dog Bite Prevention Week – April 7 -13, 2024

Dogs are the most popular pets in the United States. About 65 million households own at least one dog. A dog is often considered a member of the family, but it is important to remember that dogs are animals. All animals, including domesticated dogs, can be dangerous. Dog bites are among the most serious and painful types of injuries. National Dog Bite Prevention Week is a time dedicated to educating the public about dog bites and how to prevent them. 

Dog Bite Statistics

More than 4.5 million people a year suffer dog bites in the United States. Approximately one in five people who are bitten by a dog require medical attention for their injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 800,000 people a year visit an emergency room for a dog bite injury. About half of all dog bite injuries occur to children. Children may often be bitten by a family dog or a dog they know. It is essential to understand that any dog, regardless of size or breed, can bite someone. While some dogs may be known to be more aggressive breeds, any dog can bite a person. 

Dog Bite Injuries

Dog bite injuries can be extremely painful and difficult to treat. Dog bites may be deep and might penetrate past the upper layers of skin and into tissues and muscles. A dog bite can even be fatal, depending on the area of the bite and other factors. A dog’s teeth can have a “hole and tear” effect, which means that the canine teeth hold the victim while the other teeth pierce and tear the skin. 

Often, dog bite wounds are complicated because they have uneven edges and can be very deep. Dog bite injuries can easily become infected. Sometimes, a dog bite injury can take a long time to heal. In addition to difficulty in the healing process, these types of wounds may result in severe deformation. In some instances, ongoing treatment, such as skin grafts, may be necessary. 

Preventing Dog Bites

Dogs may bite for any number of reasons. Often, a dog bites because it is startled or afraid. A dog may be protecting its territory or food. A dog might feel threatened or could be sick. A dog may also bite during play. You can minimize the risk of a dog bite by supervising children and keeping them from touching or getting near a dog. Never approach or pet a dog that you don’t know. As a dog owner, early socialization and training can help keep your dog from becoming aggressive. Keep your dog away from situations that are stressful. If your dog is aggressive, you should take steps to resolve the situation as soon as possible. 

What to Do if You Were Bitten By a Dog

Although a dog bite is made by an animal, it is the animal’s owner who is generally responsible. A dog owner must act responsibly and maintain control of their dog at all times. A dog owner may be negligent if they did not take proper steps to control their dog. If you are the victim of a dog bite, the negligent dog owner may be responsible for your current and future medical bills as well as other damages. An experienced personal injury attorney will help you seek compensation for your injuries. 


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