Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. M-F

Dog Bite Prevention

Did you know someone is treated for a dog bite every forty seconds?  One in five dog bites require medical attention and 70% of dog bites occur on the owner’s property.  By becoming aware and properly trained to recognize potentially dangerous situations, you can avoid being another statistic.

How do you avoid getting bit by a dog?  Start by respecting the dog’s personal space.  Never approach an unfamiliar dog, especially one who’s tied or confined behind a fence or a door.  Don’t pet a dog without letting him see and sniff your open palm with fingers pulled back.

Don’t disturb a dog while it’s sleeping, eating, chewing on a toy, or caring for puppies.  Always assume that a dog who doesn’t know you may see you as an intruder or a threat.

Pay attention to the dog’s body language.  Put a safe amount of space between yourself and a dog if you see the following signals, indicating the dog is uncomfortable and might feel the need to bite:

  • Tensed body
  • Stiff tail
  • Pulled back head and/or ears
  • Furrowed brow
  • Eyes rolled so the whites are visible
  • Yawning
  • Flicking tongue
  • Intense stare
  • Backing away

When putting space between yourself and a dog that might bite, never turn your back on the dog and run away.  A dog’s natural instinct will be to chase and catch you.

What to do if you think a dog may attack.  If you are approached by a dog that may attack you, follow these steps:

  • Resist the impulse to scream and run.
  • Remain calm and motionless; hands at your sides, stand slightly sideways, which makes you a narrower target, and avoid eye contact with the dog (keep the dog in your peripheral vision).
  • If you happen to be carrying anything in your hands, place it out in front of yourself to appear bigger and be more in command of your space.
  • Once the dog loses interest in you, slowly back away until he is out of sight.
  • If the dog does attack, “feed” him your jacket, shoe, bicycle, or anything that you can put between yourself and the dog.
  • If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your ears and remain motionless.  Try not to scream or roll around.
  • Remember to protect your face, chest, and throat.  Keep your hands in fists to protect your fingers.  If you must be bitten, the safest place for it to happen is the shin or forearm; a dog bite to the thigh can cause fatal bleeding.

What to do if you’re bitten by a dog.  If you are bitten or attacked by a dog, try not to panic.

  • Resist the natural urge to pull away and if you can manage at this point, grab its back legs and lift them off the ground.
  • Immediately wash the wound thoroughly with soap and warm water.
  • Contact your medical management network physician for additional care and advice.
  • If severe bleeding occurs, call 9-1-1 and apply direct pressure to the wound or a tourniquet as needed.

Resource:  Intergovernmental Risk Management Agency

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Village Hall, 6533 Pershing Rd.
8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday

Exceptions: On the first and third Tuesdays of the month, the hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

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