Dog bites are often considered as a dog intentionally biting to inflict injury to a person or animal. The National Canine Research Council classifies a dog bite as any injury from a dog where the tooth or nail punctures the skin. According to the NCRC, this can be in the form of playful nips, scratches, scrapes from a bite, bites when the dog is injured, working with K-9 police dogs in training or performing police duties. In any event, any bite that punctures the skin should be promptly reported and medical attention sought.
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Report the dog bite to animal control and the local health department. Call your local police department's non-emergency line. Report the incident to the police, and the police will dispatch animal control or an officer to come to the scene. Give animal control a description of the dog, how the incident happened and any other pertinent information about the dog and owner.
Take pictures of the bite wound and dog. Keeping evidence is essential should the case be taken to court. Providing pictures to authorities will also assist in reporting the injury.
Contact a doctor right away, or seek emergency treatment. The emergency room or doctor may want to report the incident. Provide the doctor with all information and a copy of the police report, if one is available.
Consult with the owner's veterinarian. Make certain that the dog is up to date on vaccines, especially rabies. If it was your dog who bit someone, discuss options about behaviour modification and how to prevent your dog from biting.
Tips and warnings
- Never play aggressively with any dog because serious injuries could happen.
- Don't leave younger children unsupervised around a dog.
- If you see an aggressive dog, do not approach it.
- If you own an aggressive dog, talk to a trainer about the aggression.
- Socialise and train your dog to prevent bites from happening.
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- National Canine Research Council: Preserving the Human-Canine Bond: Dog Bites
- Carroll County Health Department: Carroll County Maryland: Rabies and Dog Bite Prevention
- City of Pleasanton: Community FAQ's: Animals and Pets Services
- Medill Reports Northwestern Department of Edcuation: Delaying Dog Bite Treatment Comes Back to Bite You, Experts Say: By, Whitney Jackson: May 22, 2008
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Dog Bite Prevention