Prevent Dog Bites By Knowing the Signs

With the large number of households that have dogs as a pet, it’s important for families to understand the risks that come along with pet ownership. One of those is injuries due to dob bites, which can lead to a lawsuit if the dog bites a visitor in your home or can cause a lot of heartache if your beloved pet bites a family member living in the home. It’s important to note dogs of any breed can bite and cause significant harm. The good news is most dogs give off warning signs before a bite occurs. This means if you’re aware of what to watch for and can teach your children to do the same, you can significantly reduce the risk of a serious injury or even worse.

Stress

One of the first signs a dog may be getting ready to strike show the dog is feeling stressed. You are likely to notice the dog’s ears lie flat back and they may begin panting. They may also crouch close to the ground and keep their tail pointed down and still. One sign that is less evident is dilated pupils. If you do notice any of these signs, it’s best to remove yourself and anyone else from the situation, providing a safe place for your dog to unwind and return to a more relaxed state.

Fear and Anxiety

Another major reason dogs may bite is due to feelings of fear and anxiety. If your dog feels threatened, biting is their only means of defense and their instincts will kick in, which means there’s little chance of stopping the bite once it reaches that point. Therefore, it’s critical to know what to look for to identify these feelings so you can provide a source of comfort to your pet instead. Once again, the dog is likely to crouch close to the ground, keeping its tail down and its ears laid back against its head. A dog who is worried or anxious may also avoid eye contact or may even lick or paw at the air.

Aggression

Some dogs are naturally dominant and will show warning signs that indicate they may be aggressive, which can lead to damaging bites. A dominant dog may curl back its lips and bare its teeth, which can also cause its snout to wrinkle. It will often stand stiffly with its hackles raised. The tail may also bristle and stand straight. However, if the dog is aggressive due to fear, they will show some slightly different symptoms. These dogs are more likely to growl as a warning sign they are about to strike, although the other signs are similar to those of a dominant dog.

Avoiding the Bite

Whenever you identify your dog may be uncomfortable and about to attack, it’s important to take the right steps to avoid an attack in the first place. Separating your dog from anyone else in the area is one of the best things you can do. Because it may be dangerous to approach the dog or interact with it, it’s typically best to remove yourself and any others from the situation instead. Once you have given your dog space and they have calmed down again, which will be evident by a change in their demeanor and the absence of the above warning signs, you can resume safely interacting with your dog.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Injuries and Deaths Increase

The United States is a country dependent upon cars to get around. However, many communities across the nation are trying to encourage and implement more environmentally friendly modes of transportation. With the help of the US Department of Transportation, these communities push for residents to choose walking, biking, and using public transport instead of relying on a car for transportation. Unfortunately, pedestrians and cyclists make up 16 percent of transportation fatalities in the United States and the numbers appear to be rising.

What’s the Problem?

Roads are built to limit the amount of traffic a city or town experiences. Governments build numerous driving lanes and install traffic lights. However, this design does pose risk to those who choose to walk or bike to get around because there just isn’t enough room to fit all the cars plus the cyclists and walkers. While pedestrians can utilize a sidewalk to stay safe, cyclists can not. They are also not allowed to ride in car lanes. However, the number of bike lanes available throughout the country are few and are, in fact, beginning to disappear. Traffic lights are not pedestrian and cyclist friendly either. This is because the person only has few seconds to cross the road before the light turns green.

Although there are indeed cities that have implemented cost-effective strategies to protect pedestrians and cyclists, cars still remain a big risk. Here are a few statistics supporting this:

  • Approximately 80 cyclists die every year in the US
  • One-third of cyclist fatalities is linked to drunk driving
  • California has the highest amount of cyclist deaths per year

Even as pedestrian and cycling deaths increase, many people still choose walking and bicycling over driving. Why? Because choosing these alternative methods of transportation prove cost effective, decrease the carbon footprint, provide exercise, and even reduces stress.

Are You the Victim of a Pedestrian of Cyclist Accident?

If you have been involved in an accident with a car where you were the pedestrian or cyclist, it is important to contact a lawyer immediately. Get compensated for the accident and the results you experienced, such as medical bills, loss of income, and more. Contact Hastings & Hastings who serve Phoenix and the surrounding areas at 800-975-0080.