What Do I Do If My Dog Bites Somebody? What Can Happen?

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dog bite

Your dog would never hurt a fly. You’ve been a good owner and got him trained and socialized. Yet, one day, he does what sometimes happens with dogs and he bit somebody.

It’s every dog owner’s worst nightmare.

Your dog may very well have had a reason to think he needed to bite, but it doesn’t matter. Once it happens then it sets in motion something that has to be dealt with.

What does it mean for you and your dog? Read on for what the protocol is when your dog bites somebody.

Deal with the injury

Hopefully, you have a first aid kit available if you are home, as you should since they aren’t just for the workplace.  Tend to the wounds if you can and make sure your dog is secured somewhere that is safe for him and for the victim.

Then see if they need to seek medical attention at a hospital.

Once the injury is dealt with, then you should offer to pay for the doctor’s bill if it is financially feasible. If you pay the bills, the victim may be satisfied with this scenario and leave it at that.

At least then the financial part is over, but we’ll go over what could happen to you and your dog in a bit.

If they decide to sue, then they will likely have a lawyer that specializes in dog bite injuries. Take a look at the Lamber Goodnow Site and you will see what it means and how the laws differ by state.

What happens to your dog?

This all depends on what state you live in. Some states authorize law enforcement to take the dog away. Whether they do or not depends on the circumstances and the decision by the officer at the time of the incident.

There will likely be a period of quarantine to test for rabies unless you can provide records of any rabies shots performed.

States like California have a very low threshold as to what constitutes responsibility. It doesn’t matter if your dog bites somebody on your property or not, the dog owner is held responsible. Unless there is an intruder of course.

Other states have a one-bite rule in which you are given some leeway depending on the circumstances and it is the first time your dog has bitten somebody.

If there is a history of aggression with your dog and it is considered a public threat then a judge could decide that he needs to be euthanized.

Keep your dog from biting somebody

This is easier said than done, but you should take steps to try to prevent the dog from biting somebody.

Don’t ignore signs of aggression. Take your dog home if he is acting unusual or aggressive in any way.

If there are a lot of kids around, make sure they are supervised when they are around your dog. Make them understand that he wants to play but they need to be calm.

Lastly, make sure your dog has all the necessary vaccines to prevent any problems if a bite does occur.

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