10 Things to Do When You’re Attacked by a Dog
Dogs are man's best friends. There are a lot of people who agree, but others may not. People might not be fond of canines because they fear their aggression at times. Dogs can be as gentle and endearing, but they can turn defensive and ready to attack anyone who hurts them or their owner.
Having said this, dog attacks happen sometimes, and it's imperative to know how to deal with the situation if you become an unlikely victim. Aside from planning for a dog bite compensation, follow the tips provided below when you’re attacked by a dog:
1. Don’t Run
Dog attacks can happen anywhere at any given time. You may just be strolling in the park when a random dog would come running toward you and ready to attack. However, the most important tip to keep in mind is to fight the urge to run away.
You may trigger a chase reflex if you run faster. Dogs feel the same way when they're chasing some other animals they'd like to fight with, so the best thing to do is to stand still. It's a good idea to fold your arms in front of you so you don't accidentally swing them and have contact with the dog.
When dogs race toward you aggressively, they’re not usually planning to bite. Sometimes, it's just a tactic to scare you off or warn you. When you show you're not scared of them and remain calm, they’d eventually stop. When you try to intimidate them by charging forward, they’ll back off soon. They’ll generally walk off by themselves once you stop and make it clear you're not scared and you’re not planning to run. An alternative plan is to back off discreetly until you remain a safe distance away.
2. Stay Motionless
Don't make eye contact with the dog that’s trying to attack you. When you remain unaffected by them, they'll lose interest and stay away. Try to be motionless while ignoring them and apply the following tips:
- The dog may perceive your arms flapping or leg kicking as a way to threaten them, so try not to move any part of your body.
- As mentioned, don’t look the dog in the eye. They might decide to lunge at you if you do so.
- Instead of facing the dog or looking at it directly, stand sideways and keep the animal in your peripheral vision. They’ll find this position irrelevant, so they'll think you're not a threat to them.
- When the dog starts to come near you, they probably just want to smell and not bite, so try to stay put and observe how the dog is acting.
3. Be Familiar with A Dog’s Behavior
It’ll help if you’re familiar with canine behaviors. Knowing how dogs act will help you read whether they're going to attack you or just checking you out. Be more cautious with dogs that move quickly and speedily, especially if you have another dog or you have your kids beside you. Research some actions that dogs do to interpret them better when you face a dog attack.
4. Use Objects as Distractions
Offer the dog something to chew on if it continues to intimidate you. You may have a bag, a toy, handkerchief, or anything they can munch on other than your leg or feet. You may be able to escape if they get distracted by this.
If you’re traveling in areas where dangerous dogs are prevalent, you may want to carry treats used for training dogs. You can throw some treats and toys in a far distance from you, so they won't have to annoy you.
5. Fight Back When a Full-Blown Attack Happens
In such cases, when the dog starts to bite you, you must defend yourself. Strike a punch on their nose, back, or even throat. These hits will stun them, and you'll buy time to escape. If passersby and people are surrounding you, ask for help. Eventually, someone will come to save you. Keep in mind not to shout as this might aggravate the dog more and more.
It's also helpful to use a stick or something else to hit the dog. Go for other areas aside from the head because the dog's skulls are usually solid rock. When you hit them in those parts, it’ll only trigger more anger and try to attack you harder. Dog attacks are dangerous and brutal, so try to act fast when dealing with the situation. By then, you can judge the level of force you need to apply when defending yourself against an aggressive dog.
6. Carry Some Dog Attack Prevention Tools
Other than dog treats and distraction stuff, there are dog attack protection tools you can carry when roving around a neighborhood. These devices will help you stay safe from the possibilities of dog attacks. Consider purchasing and bringing the following:
- Compact dog air horns
- Citronella spray
- Bite sticks
- Counter assault pepper spray
All these tools will help you stay protected in case a dog attack is about to happen. It could also be used to protect not only yourself but also your dog and family. Some aggressive dogs could escape their leash or run away from their cages and wander the streets. Such devices can help you in many instances, so they're worth the investment.
7. Protect Yourself
Since a dog’s defense mechanism is to attack when they feel threatened, you should know how to protect yourself as well. When a dog is already administering a severe attack toward you, apply these tips:
- Protect Your Body
Wherever you are, your priority should always be to protect your hands and face no matter what's going on. You should turn your back on the dog, so it won't have to scratch or bite your face and hands. Also, keep your stance and don't fall into the ground. Your taller height will give you a significant advantage against the dog. But when you fall, you can remain in a ball position so you can still protect your stomach and face. Also, keep your neck secure by using your hands.
- Use Something To Put In Between You And The Dog
Kicking the dog and keeping it away is an option, but try to keep it from contacting you by getting something hard-to-bite. This will give them something to munch on instead of your soft flesh. Hitting should be your last resort as these actions will only allow them to bite harder and deeper into the skin.
- Cover The Face Of The Dog
The best way to calm a dog is to cover its face with a cloth like a jacket, towel, or blanket. If you happen to wear one, put it over their face to lose their vision and focus. Even tarps or other alternatives available around could be used to stop them. When their faces are covered, escape and get away from the dog.
8. Heal Your Injuries and Wounds
In the event of a bite, you should appropriately treat any wounds as even the slightest bite can cause infection. It's imperative to carry a first-aid kit when going to places with many dogs. Apply the tips below when healing fresh wounds:
- Stop the bleeding first. Make sure you use sterile gauze pads or clean cloths. If wounds and injuries are severe, go to the hospital or ask an ambulance to fetch you.
- It’s essential to clean the wound with water thoroughly. You may use soap to wash the bacteria away too.
- Cover the wound with a Band-Aid.
- Monitor your wound and see a doctor after the temporary treatment.
9. Seek Medical Attention Right Away
Rabies is a severe threat to anyone who has a dog bite. Therefore, if you discovered the dog has rabies, visit a doctor right away and get a rabies shot immediately. Your doctor must administer it to ensure efficacy. You may need additional preventative tetanus treatments, so have these shots too. After all the shots, have your entire body checked for any other bruises.
10. Coordinate with the Authorities and the Dog Owner
When the dog that attacked you is with an owner, make sure to acquire their contact details. Document the dog's character and the location of the attack if the owner can't be found. It's essential to document everything, so take pictures of the dog and the area.
Gather as many proofs as you can. It’d help if you have a video or audio recording of everything else, so it’d be easier to file a report to the police. You can also contact the team for animal control, especially that dog bites and dog attacks are reported differently in every jurisdiction.
Dogs don’t typically attack out of nowhere, but these circumstances happen when they feel threatened or when their territories are invaded. Some accidents also occur due to the negligence of dog owners. Whatever will be the case, you need to know how to deal with the situation. By being familiar with the tips above, you can protect yourself.