Statistics show that dogs bite an estimated 5 million people in the US each year. About 800,000 of these people require medical attention as the result of the attack. In the worst cases, about 15-20 people actually die from injuries sustained. These numbers are not actually very substantial given that there are an estimated 65 million dogs in the U.S.
What may be more surprising is that most dog bites are preventable if owners train and care for their dogs properly and they can protect themselves by purchasing adequate dog bite coverage to help defend against any costly dog bite insurance settlements. If potential bite victims, and especially small children, are taught how to behave around dogs those numbers could certainly decrease.
Keep a safe distance from unfamiliar dogs
If you approach, or are approached, by an unfamiliar dog you need to be careful. Some dogs may appear friendly, but may easily become frightened and attack. Many normally pleasant dogs may also become skittish or frightened around strangers. Never try to pet an unfamiliar dog that’s behind a fence, tied up, or alone in a car. Dogs are often very protective of their territory, and may suddenly and unexpectedly become ferocious around anyone entering their space.
If walking along the street and coming upon a dog running loose in the streets, try your best to calmly avoid the animal. Its might be best to simply cross the street or go back in the other direction. Stay out of reach of dogs on leashes since they may be prone to biting strangers attempting to pet them. If the owner is present, ask their permission before taking it upon yourself to pet their dog. If a dog doesn’t do well around strangers the owner probably already knows this.
Dogs are naturally curious animals and like to sniff or approach strangers slowly. This is usually non-threatening behavior, but trying to touch the dog beforehand could result in an attack as a self-defense mechanism. Lastly, don’t run away from a dog, as turning and running may awaken the dog’s instinct to chase prey. Whenever encountering an unfamiliar dog, keep calm, and walk slowly away. Stand still if the dog appears ready to attack, and keep both hands closed with fingers curled in so as to prevent them getting bitten. After all, no one likes to end up the claimants in dog bite insurance settlements.