With the advent of spring and especially summer, it is likely you are heading outside more. Whether this is to walk, hike, jog, cycle or hang out with friends, dogs are one potential danger to be aware of.
This holds true even if the dog in question belongs to people you trust. Follow these tips to help keep safe this summer.
If you are with your own dog
When you are with a dog of your own and another dog approaches you want to keep a safe distance away. By keeping your distance, you are reduce the chances of getting bitten.
If you are on foot
A defense “weapon” or two can be really helpful when you are on foot. These can include canes, walking sticks, whistles and even treats. Whistles and treats work for many bicyclists too. Also, if you have multiple negative experiences with dogs on the path you usually take, it is probably time to modify your route. It may not seem fair, but staying safe should be your top priority.
If you are with the dog of someone you know
Listen to your friends or relatives if they warn you against petting their new dog. It may be adorable, but do not stick out your hand just yet. If there are no warnings, ask if petting the dog is okay, and respect any signals the animal gives off indicating it wants to be left alone.
If you have small children, supervise them carefully around dogs, even pets you know well. Children are notorious for yanking tails or hurting a dog while trying to pet it. Many times, children mean well and have no idea of the harm they could be inflicting. But a dog, thinking it needs to defend itself, can cause devastating injuries and even death.
If you or your child is bitten by a dog, see a doctor as soon as possible. Depending on the nature of the injuries, your next step often should be speaking with a lawyer to discuss compensation for injuries and medical bills.