June 26, 2008
The Humane Society of the United States and the United States Postal Service offer these tips on preventing dog bites.
How can I avoid being bitten by a dog?
- Never approach a strange dog, especially one who’s tied up or confined behind a fence or in a car.
- Don’t pet a dog, even your own, without letting him or her see and sniff you first.
- Never turn your back to a dog and run away. A dog’s natural instinct is to chase and catch fleeing prey.
- Don’t disturb a dog while he or she is sleeping, eating (dog food or dog treats, like bully sticks), chewing on a toy or caring for puppies.
- Be cautious around strange dogs. Always assume that a dog who doesn’t know you may see you as an intruder or as a threat.
What should I do if I think a dog may attack?
- Never scream and run. Remain motionless, hands at your sides, and avoid eye contact with the dog
- Remain motionless with your hands at your sides until the dog loses interest in you, then slowly back away until he or she is out of site.
- If the dog does attack, “feed” him or her your jacket, purse, or anything that you can put between yourself and the dog.
- If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your ears and remain motionless. Try not to scream or roll around.
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