Dogs are such lovable animals that we sometimes forget that they are powerful creatures with a potentially dangerous bite. It is essential to teach children from a young age to respect these animals, and to remember as adults that a dog may act out if frightened or angered, or if treated poorly by others. If you have been subjected to a bite by a dog, you can click the link for more info from an Austin personal injury lawyer.
While, generally, most dogs have a reasonably good temperament, some things will agitate them or cause them to defend themselves. For the majority of the time, dogs usually remain relatively calm, but some things can be done on your part to minimize dog bite risks. If it does happen, and you don’t require medical attention, remember to keep the wound clean.
Ask before touching
If a dog doesn’t belong to you, you should always ask before stroking them. Not all dogs like to be fussed over, or the dog may be in its senior years and have more of a grumpy disposition. Either way, you must always ask before touching a dog. If not, any incident that occurs may be your fault.
Don’t poke or prod
Chances are that you wouldn’t enjoy it if someone were poking you. Most dogs don’t enjoy it either. Some will sit and tolerate this behavior, particularly by young children, whereas others may snap when they have reached their limit.
This will be especially true if they are poked near the eyes, mouth, in the ears, or bottom. Anything that causes a dog immediate pain or discomfort will invoke an equally urgent response so minimize dog bite risks by not agitating the dog.
Look for warning signs
A dog will usually let you know if they are becoming agitated. If they are showing the whites of their eyes, aren’t wagging their tail as much as usual, or are repeatedly trying to get away, this is a sign that they don’t want to be played with or touched at that moment. Ignoring these signs can lead to some more aggressive warnings, such as growling, baring of teeth, and barking. If by this point, these signs are still ignored, a dog may be more tempted to bite as a final means of exhibiting their displeasure at a situation.
Overall, dogs are innocent creatures, and all they want is love and kindness. Just as you would with another person, it is always important to respect the space and wishes of any dog you see to minimize dog bite risks. Unlike us, they are unable to tell us precisely what it is that they feel or want, so show these thoughts via their actions. If you are unable, or unwilling, to appreciate the signals a dog is giving you, it may be best for you to stay away from the dog entirely.