Some dog bites happen virtually without warning. You’re injured before you know there’s a threat. It’s a shock, and you instantly need medical attention.
In other cases, though, you may see some warning signs, such as an aggressive dog barking at you, running toward you on the sidewalk or approaching in a manner that makes it clear that it sees you as a threat. When you know that the attack is about to happen, what should you do?
Do not run away
Your first instinct may be to run away, but you should not do it. Not only are dogs far faster than humans, but they also have a chase instinct that is activated when you run, so you can make things worse.
Attempt to stay calm
Likewise, dogs feed off of your energy. If you panic, yell or act aggressively, so will they. If you stay calm, you can sometimes get the dog to calm down, which prevents the injury.
Back off slowly
If you can, start to back away from the dog in a slow, controlled manner. Don’t make eye contact, but also don’t turn your back. If the dog lunges, try to put something like a coat or a purse in the way. What you’ll find is that a lot of dogs are only protecting their territory, so showing that you’re not a threat and then leaving is enough to prevent the bite.
If these tips aren’t enough and you still get bitten, seek medical attention. Infections can be life-altering. Regardless of the severity, you can start looking into your rights to compensation from the dog’s owner.