The Ultimate Guide to Handling Dog Bite For First-Time Encounters

Dogs are well-known to be man’s best friend; they uphold that reputation in many ways. But there are some cases where you wouldn’t want to be near a dog. Whether they’re being friendly, overly excited, or aggressive, dogs can bite you whenever and wherever you are. 

If a dog bites you, proper medical care must be done to sterilize and treat the bite wound. The first thing to do after getting bitten by a dog is to wash the wound with soap and water, cleaning out dirt and blood from the bite incident. 

Once you’ve washed it, you’ll need to stop the bleeding. Applying pressure on the wound with a sterile cloth or gauze limits the blood from seeping out. Additionally, you must elevate the affected body part above your chest until the bleeding stops. 

Once the bleeding has slowed or stopped completely, disinfect the wound with antibacterial medicine. Along with the soap and water, sanitizing the affected area decreases the likelihood of getting infected. Afterward, place a bandage on the wound to protect it from outside debris. The bandage will also catch potential discharge from the injury. 

After washing, disinfecting, and covering the wound, check for any redness, swelling, or pain that occurs within the next few days. If so, the wound might have been infected, and checking in with the doctor should be done immediately. 

Besides knowing how to safeguard your health in case of a dog-biting incident, you may also want to consider filing an insurance claim. 

Insurance Coverage for Dog Bites

Certain dog-biting incidents can prompt you to file an insurance claim. Insurance coverage typically ranges from $100,000 to $500,000, depending on the severity of the incident. Dog bite coverage can be waived on and off-property, so the location where you’ve been bitten doesn’t affect your eligibility for insurance compensation. 

Additionally, being bitten by dogs that have shown signs of aggression in the past or certain dog breeds are excluded from certain coverage packages. Some examples of dogs excluded from insurance coverage are wolf breeds, bulky dogs, German shepherds, Great Danes, Pit bulls, and Rottweilers. 

Insurance policies may not also cover anything other than the physical injuries from the dog bite, meaning subsequent injuries the bite may have caused are excluded.

While dogs may hold the position of our closest companions, it’s important to remember that they are indeed animals and have the potential to bite. Remarkably, around 4.7 million Americans experience dog bites annually, and nearly half of these cases involve children aged between 5 and 9 years old. Astonishingly, one in every five of these incidents leads to injuries necessitating medical attention, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control. Additionally, statistics reveal that children are more susceptible to dog bite injuries compared to adults.

It’s crucial to acknowledge that although dog bites can come from strays or unfamiliar canines, a substantial portion of these occurrences actually involves dogs individuals are familiar with, whether they belong to a friend or even within the family.

Tips For Preventing Dog Bites

  1. Mindful Canine Selection: While choosing a dog to become a family pet, prioritize those with a well-established temperament. Opt for breeds known for their good nature and compatibility with families.
  2. Exercise Caution with Unfamiliar Dogs: Exercise caution when encountering dogs you are not acquainted with. Keep a safe distance from them to avoid unpredictable reactions.
  3. Supervision Around Dogs: Particularly, refrain from leaving young children alone with dogs, especially if the dog is unfamiliar. Close supervision is essential to prevent unpredictable interactions.
  4. Respect During Meals: Never attempt to engage with a dog that is eating or tending to its puppies. This can provoke protective instincts that might lead to aggressive behavior.
  5. Approach with Care: When approaching a dog, adopt a slow and cautious approach. Give the dog the opportunity to approach you first, allowing for a comfortable interaction.
  6. Managing Aggression: In case a dog exhibits signs of aggression, it’s vital not to panic, run, or scream. Maintaining a composed demeanor, moving gradually, and avoiding direct eye contact can help defuse the situation.

It’s important to cultivate a comprehensive understanding of dog behavior and interaction to ensure the safety of both individuals and the animals involved.

Best Practices for Filing a Dog Bite Insurance Claim

If a dog has bitten you, it’s important to pursue an insurance claim to avail of financial compensation. Reporting the incident to authorities can give you a support system when filing your insurance claim. Additionally, a police report strengthens the case in your favor. 

Collecting relevant evidence, building up your case, and consulting with an attorney are recommended before actively pursuing a dog bite insurance claim. Experts in the field can advise you on applying for a claim with an insurance company. 

Insurance claims and reports can help your community become much safer. But besides filing your insurance claim, you should prioritize seeking medical attention and recovering fully as soon as possible to prevent infections.

Check out the infographic below for a visual summary of handling dog bites.

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