I was visiting a friend the other day and her dog bit the back of my ankle! Boy did it hurt! I’ve never been bitten by a dog before and it scared me to death. I enjoy being outside and walking, often times I see stray dogs that run over or follow me a distance away. If you are ever bitten by a stray dog then it is necessary to seek medical attention. Luckily, I knew where the dog who bit me came from and how it was taken care of, so I didn’t think I needed to visit a doctor.
Dog bites can cause infections so they need to be treated with antibiotics. I think it is important to include information on how to care for dog bites and have plenty of antibiotic ointment on hand in our preparedness and first aid kits.
Do you know how to care for a dog bit?
To care for a dog bite injury at home:
- Place a clean towel over the injury to stop any bleeding.
- Try to keep the injured area elevated.
- Wash the bite carefully with soap and water.
- Apply a sterile bandage to the wound.
- Apply antibiotic ointment to the injury every day to prevent infection.
Safe Rules to Follow
- Never hit, kick, slap or bite a dog or pull on his ears, tail or paws..
- Never bother dogs with puppies or dogs that are playing with or guarding toys, eating or sleeping.
- Never approach a dog that is tied up, behind a fence or in a car.
- If you want to meet a dog, first ask the owner for permission. If the owner says it’s OK, hold out your hand in a fist for the dog to sniff. If he’s interested, you can give him a little scratch under the chin (not over the head) and say hello.
- Always talk in a quiet voice or whisper — no shouting — and take a “time out” if you feel angry or frustrated.
- If a loose dog approaches you, stand still like a tree. Keep your hands at your sides, and stay quiet and calm. Look away from the dog.
- If you are on the ground, curl up into a ball, like a rock. Keep your knees to your chest and your hands over your ears. Stay quiet and calm. Look down at your knees, not at the dog.
- Always make slow movements, set things down carefully and don’t run when you’re around dogs, as this gets them excited and they may accidently hurt you.
Dog Bite Statistics:
- An estimated 4.7 million dog bites occur in the U.S. each year
- Nearly 800,000 dog bites require medical care
- Approximately 92% of fatal dog attacks involved male dogs, 94% of which were not neutered
- Approximately 25% of fatal dog attacks involved chained dogs
- Approximately 71% of bites occur to the extremities (arms, legs, hands, feet)
- Approximately two-thirds of bites occurred on or near the victim’s property, and most victims knew the dog
- At least 25 different breeds of dogs have been involved in the 238 dog-bite-related fatalities in the U.S.
- Approximately 24% of human deaths involved unrestrained dogs off of their owners’ property
- Approximately 58% of human deaths involved unrestrained dogs on their owners’ property
Keep Safe and Be Prepared!