In Louisiana and other U.S. states, people are becoming increasingly aware about the risk of dog bites. Although dog bites can happen anywhere, most occur whenever an individual is walking or jogging in a public area such as a park or green space.
Dog attacks can range from mild to severe, so it’s important to think ahead and know how you’ll respond in case an unexpected encounter arises. In the event that you’re charged by a dog, being prepared in advance could help you avoid serious injury. Use the following tips to minimize the risk of a dog attack.
First and foremost, always strive to maintain a safe distance between you and a dog whenever you pass by a dog walking on a leash. Regardless of the size or breed of dog, you can never anticipate how a dog might respond if it feels startled or excited. If you’re passing by a dog that’s being walked on an unusually long leash, always attempt to alert the owner to rein the dog in before you pass by. This can allow the owner to have enough time to control the chance of lunging and to prevent a potential tripping hazard. If you’re passing by a dog that appears friendly, always ask permission from the dog owner before you attempt to approach it.
Most importantly, understand the signs that a dog may attack. Obvious signs may include raised fur, barking, howling, snapping or unusual body language. A fearful dog may demonstrate certain signs before attacking, such as tucking its tail, cowering, yawning or licking its lips. Never assume that a strange dog wagging its tail is friendly.
As cautious as you are, you can’t always anticipate when a negative encounter with a dog might happen. If you or someone you know is the victim of a dog bite, an experienced personal injury attorney may be able to help.