Many Maryland residents may not think getting bitten by a dog is something to be concerned about. However, more than 4 million people each year in the United States are bitten by a dog, and 800,000 of these victims have to receive medical attention for the bite. In addition, children are the most likely to be severely injured in a dog attack, which typically occurs when the child is doing everyday activities, such as playing, and interacting with a dog he or she already knows.
Getting a new dog is very exciting, but new owners must remember that they are responsible for properly training and socializing their pet to prevent a potentially dangerous attack. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) offers the following suggestions for dog owners to prevent dog bites:
- Train your dog. Teaching your dog basic commands, such as “sit,” “no,” or “come,” helps your dog to learn proper behavior and what is expected of him or her. Try incorporating the commands into fun activities with your new pup.
- Give your dog the physical activity it needs. Walking your dog provides mental stimulation, physical exercise and helps to keep your dog healthy. In addition to getting the proper amount of physical exercise, proper healthcare such as getting all necessary vaccinations, can make a big difference in how your dog acts and feels.
- When in public … always use a leash to maintain control of your dog. Also, never put (or keep) your dog in a position where it feels threatened or teased, like when a child becomes too playful with your canine or begins taunting it.
- Don’t excite your dog. Avoid playing highly excitable games with your pet, like tug-of-war, chase or wrestling.
- If you plan to keep the dog outside … make sure your fence and gates are secure.
It is important for all MD dog owners to take necessary precautions to help prevent dog bites, but some owners may not be as conscientious, leading to an innocent person becoming a victim of a dog attack. If you or family member has been bitten by a dog, the injury lawyers in Bowie with Alpert Schreyer, LLC can help you pursue compensation for your injuries and hold the negligent dog owner legally accountable. Call (866) 444-6363 for a free case evaluation.