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How common are dog bites in the United States?

Going up to a friend's dog, especially one that you haven't ever met before, can be a challenging event. Some dogs are very friendly, but it is crucial to remember that all dogs are wild animals who might not react in a positive manner to a person trying to touch them.

How often do dog bites occur each year?

Approximately 4.7 million dog bite incidents occur each year in this country. Around one out of every five of those incidents require the victim to seek medical care. Children who are 5 to 9 years old account for almost half of the dog bite victims in the United States.

What are some ways to prevent dog bites?

The most important thing to do is to pay attention to how the dog is responding to you coming near it. If the dog seems irritated, has puppies or is eating or drinking, stay away from the dog. If you notice that the dog is aggravated, back away from it slowly. Don't run because if you run, the dog might see you as prey.

What are some of the treatments for dog bites?

Dog bite treatments depend on the severity of the bite. A minor bite might be treatable at home by washing the wound, keeping it clean and applying antibiotic ointment. More serious bites would require medical care. This includes those that appear to be getting infected. Another factor that affects the treatment plan is whether the dog was current on vaccinations, such as the rabies vaccination.

When the dog that bit you is owned by another person, you might opt to seek compensation for the bite. This could help you to recover some of the money that you lost because of the injury.

Source: WebMD, "Dog Bites," accessed Jan. 05, 2017

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