How to Recognize the Warning Signs of a Dog Bite: Insights from a Dog Bite Lawyer in Winter Haven, Florida

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), millions of Americans are bitten by dogs each year — many of which require urgent medical attention. You can avoid this frightening experience by being cautious and avoiding situations that could result in a dog bite.

As the top-rated dog bite attorneys in Winter Haven, Florida, we have put together a short guide filled with information that will help you avoid dog bites. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Warning Signs

Dogs exhibit many signs that can alert you to their unease, signaling that they may bite. You should avoid getting too close to any dog that displays any of the signs reviewed below.

  • A dog may be about to bite if it’s growling or showing/snapping its teeth. Dogs typically do this when they feel threatened. If you can identify the threat, you can remove it to calm the dog down.
  • Wagging tails may not always indicate excitement. A high and slow wagging tail can mean that the dog is nervous and uncomfortable.
  • When a dog senses danger, its body may stiffen. Some dogs show signs of this by pricking their ears forward or raising their tail — almost as if they are frozen.
  • Raised fur on the neck or back can indicate that the dog is in distress
  • Typically, you cannot see the white portion of a dog’s eyes (sclera). When it is visible, however, it can be a warning sign that a dog is about to bite.

How to Avoid Dog Bites

  • Do not pet or approach an unfamiliar dog.
  • Before petting a dog, always get permission from its owner.
  • Allow the dog to sniff your hand before you go ahead and pet it.
  • Pet a dog only on its shoulders and chest.
  • Petting a dog who is eating, nursing puppies, resting, or chewing on a toy should be avoided.
  • Keep your distance from barking or growling dogs.
  • Keep an eye out for the above-mentioned canine body language and avoid dogs who exhibit it.
  • Do not approach dogs that are unrestrained or behind a fence.
  • If an unfamiliar dog gets near you, do not scream, and do not run away. Maintain your stance and stay quiet — and never turn your back on it.
  • Do not approach an injured dog. Instead, try to find the owner or call animal control.
  • Do not tease, pull a dog’s tail, hit, or poke it.

What to Do if You Are Bitten by a Dog

If you are the victim of a dog bite accident in Winter Haven, Florida, you should take the following steps to protect both your health and your legal rights:

  • Wash the bite wound promptly with warm, soapy water.
  • Seek medical attention right away.
  • Notify the local animal control about the dog bite. Give the agency all the information you have, including the owner’s name and contact information. If the dog is a stray, tell the agency where it attacked you, what it looks like, where it went, and whether you have seen it previously.
  • Speak with a dog bite lawyer in Winter Haven, Florida about your legal options for pursuing compensation for your injuries from a dog bite.

Speak with Our Experienced Dog Bite Lawyers in Winter Haven, Florida

Have you recently been bitten by a dog? If so, O’Toole Law Group is here to help. As the premier dog bite attorneys in Winter Haven, Florida, we can review your dog bite injury claim and advise you on how to maximize its value. Contact us today at (863) 533 5525 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our legal team.

O'Toole Law Group

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