Dog Bites May Be The Result of Pet Anxiety

Dog Bite Prevention week takes place every year during the third week in May.  The purpose is to raise awareness among people in Cape Cod and throughout the country, about effective ways to prevent dog bites in order to keep you and your family safe.  A dog bite can be particularly frightening and has the potential to cause serious injuries, especially if the incident involves a large, intimidating dog.  In any case involving a dog bite, the injured person may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering and economic damages.  A local injury attorney would be able to help you to evaluate your claim and recuperate any losses.

The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that there are 70 million dogs living in U.S. households.  The organization further reports that millions of people — most of them children — are bitten by dogs each year.  What may be surprising to many readers is that the majority of these bites, if not all, are considered to be preventable.  According to one article, dog bite prevention begins with the understanding that dogs do not bite people “out of the blue” or for no apparent reason.  This article suggests that dog bites occur when the pet is anxious about a situation that is taking place.

When children are bitten, it can be particularly upsetting because the bite is usually on the child’s head, face or neck – vulnerable and sensitive parts of the body.  It is even more disturbing when the biter is the family pet.  But this article suggests that families can take notice of warning signs that may indicate when the pet is feeling anxious, leading it to protect or defend itself by biting.  Some of these signs include the following: barking or whining, lip licking or tongue flicking, crouching or tucking in tail, turning head or entire body away from a situation, tightly closing mouth, yawning, ears pinned back to head, body is still or in a “freeze,” and something referred to as a “half moon eye,” which happens when the whites of a dog’s eyes are exposed.

Parents or other adults should always supervise a child around a dog.  The pet needs space and an alternative location, such as a crate, to retreat to for quiet time away from children.  And while children may think it is fun to play with a dog by grabbing its toys and tossing them around as they would their own toys, dogs do not understand that children are simply playing.  They may feel threatened and become protective and defensive. It is also a good idea to always leave dogs alone when they are eating, chewing on a toy or sleeping.

It is important to take these prevention tips seriously.  Getting bitten by a dog can have lasting effects on a child throughout adolescence and into adulthood.  There is no real defense in Massachusetts when a dog bites someone. The basic rule of law is that the dog’s owner is responsible. Even in cases where someone is injured in trying to escape a threatening dog, the owner can be held responsible for any injuries that occur.  If a dog bit your child, contact a local injury attorney who specializes in handling dog bite cases.

Local attorney, John C. Manoog III, has extensive experience helping parties in dog bite cases in Cape Cod.  For a free initial consultation, call the office at 888-262-6664 or reach us by email.  There is always someone available to talk to you about your case.

Related Blog Posts:
Number of Dog Bite Claims Fluctuates, While Value of Claims Increases

Cape Cod Community Sees Increase in Dog Bite Cases

Massachusetts Dog Bite Attack: 400 Stitches, Dog Put Down


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