Every year, there are thousands of injuries because of dog bites. In fact, 1,000 people end up in U.S. emergency rooms every day because of dog bites.
Sometimes, dogs make it clear that they're not always man's best friend. But what makes them bite?
The reasons dogs bite
There are many reasons why dogs bite, and, in a lot of cases, it boils down to the negligence of the dog owner, who fails to keep his or her animal restrained. Aside from this negligence, however, what provokes a dog to attack?
- Dogs are possessive and sometimes they get jealous about their owners, their toys, their food and other dogs.
- Dogs can be fearful and they may react to someone they don't know -- and even someone they do know -- by preemptively attacking them. Children are especially vulnerable to dog attacks because (1) they're smaller and less threatening, (2) they're more likely to reach out and touch a dog and (3) they are more apt to run and play around a dog which may incite the dog's fears.
- Dogs in pain may be more likely to bite or attack someone. Any owner of a dog with hip dysplasia, for example, should stay alert to signs that the dog is having a bad day -- and appropriately restrain the dog to prevent injury.
- Dogs with puppies are also prone to attack without provocation. A mother dog's instincts will be such that they will preemptively attack when people come near their puppies.
- When people are moving fast past a dog. Runners, cyclists and even walkers -- like mail carriers -- can tempt your dog to chase. Since dogs are so fast, they can catch most cyclists and runners. In these circumstances, it can be a good idea for runners to stop, turn and face the dogs.
Did you or a loved one get attacked by a dog?
There might not be anything you can do to prevent getting attacked by a dog -- especially if the dog owner was negligent and failed to restrain his or her animal. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury in a dog attack incident like this, you may want to investigate your legal rights and options.