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What can you do to prevent a dog bite?

It would be difficult to locate any person who had never been in contact with a dog. Dogs are popular pets in America and in other places around the world. For the most part, these sweet animals do no harm to their owners or the people around them.

However, you can't forget that dogs, although domesticated, come from wild animals. They have prey drives and can become aggressive when placed in difficult situations. Even the gentlest dog has the potential to turn on an owner or other person if it's sick, tired or scared.

What can you do to avoid a dog bite?

There are many ways to prevent bites, but one of the easiest is to remember the signs of a dog in distress. If your dog is ill, eating or has his or her ears pressed down, there's a potential that it's scared or feeling aggressive. Most dogs give warnings before attacking, so recognizing that your dog has become upset will give you time to back away and diffuse the situation.

If the situation occurs that you think an attack is imminent, do what you can to block the animal from biting you. For example, if you're in your home, a pillow, chair or other device can be placed between you and the pet. Don't run from the dog or scream, since this could make it more aggressive and encourage its prey drive.

If someone else's dog attacks you, remember that owners are liable for their pets' actions. You may be able to file a claim for compensation.

Source: Florida Health, "Dog Bite Prevention," accessed March 14, 2018

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