You love your dog. Your dog loves you. But some dogs don’t love when strangers come to the door. Sometimes, this uncomfortable situation can lead to your dog biting another person. This is a worst case scenario for every dog owner. Suddenly, the dog you love and trust is portrayed as a danger. Here’s what to do if your dog bites a visitor.
Remove the Dog
The first thing to do if your dog bites a visitor is to move the animal to another part of the house. It doesn’t matter if they tear up your bed or go to the bathroom inside. You need to quickly act to make the victim feel as safe as possible. It’s not enough to just put yourself between the dog and the other person. They need to be completely separated. While unlikely, it’s possible that the dog will attack again—causing further distress to the injured individual.
Don’t Freak Out
As with all situations, losing your cool isn’t going to help anything. If your dog bites someone, you need to keep a clear head in order to deescalate the situation. After you’ve put away the dog, take an objective assessment of the scene. This can be difficult when your adrenaline is pumping; but it’s necessary in order to give the visitor adequate aid. If they’re bleeding, get some antiseptic and something to cover the wound. Once you have collected yourself, you’ll be better able to determine next steps.
It’s also important to note that being gruff with the person won’t help anything. When your dog bites someone, you’re in the wrong. It doesn’t matter if you think they did something to trigger the dog. There’s no way they could have known that might happen, and you allowed the situation. In fact, the victim has every right to pursue legal action if they are bitten by your dog. Even with homeowners insurance, you can be held liable if you don’t act appropriately following the bite. However, if you show genuine remorse, it’s more likely that the other person will show you some empathy.
Get Necessary Medical Aid
If the bite is bad enough, the visitor may need to be transported to the hospital. Offer to bring the person yourself. Should they not feel comfortable with this, suggest calling an ambulance. Unless there was absolutely no damage done from the bite, it’s usually safest to seek medical attention for the victim. Not only is this beneficial to their health, you might be accountable should the bite develop into another malady. It’s also essential that you have all your dog’s medical records readily available. You will need to show that they have gotten appropriate vaccinations for things such as rabies.
Check in with the Victim
This is one of the most important things to do following a dog bite. You probably want to put the event as far out of your mind as possible. However, this isn’t really the best idea. Even if you’ve moved on from the event, it’s unlikely the victim feels the same way. This is especially true if they were traumatized by the attack. Make sure you call to see how the person is doing a few days and weeks after the bite took place. They’ll be more likely to see that you’re regretful of what happened, and will hopefully not want to press charges. Remember to respect the wishes of the victim. Keep calling if it seems like they’re okay with it. But leave them alone if they express that wish.
There’s nothing good about a dog bite. It stinks for everyone involved—including the animal. However, these things occasionally happen, even with well-trained pets. These instructions may come in handy if your dog ever bites a visitor.