How can my family and I avoid being bitten? -If you encounter a strange, unfamiliar dog, be extra cautious. -Children are the most common victims of dog bites. A baby or small child should NEVER be left alone with a dog, even the family pet. Teach your children to be careful around any and all pets. -Teach your children to NEVER approach or pet strange or unfamiliar dogs. Also teach them to always ask permission from the dog's owner before touching or petting a dog. -In potentially dangerous situations, stay alert. -Dogs naturally like to chase and catch things, so NEVER run past a dog- this may give them reason to become excited or aggressive and therefore, unpredictable. -If a dog is caring/nursing puppies, sleeping or eating, DO NOT disturb them. -Dogs are protective over their territory, so NEVER reach through or over a fence to touch or pet a dog, as they may interpret this as a threat. -Stay still as a dog approaches to sniff you. -If you become threatened by a dog, stay calm. Shouting or yelling will further aggravate it. Speak calmly and firmly and either stay still or back away slowly until you are out of eye sight. Avoid eye contact and DO NOT turn and run. -If you happen to fall or get knocked down, curl into a ball and use your hands to protect your head, neck and face.
If someone's dog bites you and causes injury, follow these steps: -First, seek medical treatment immediately. -Second, contact authorities with any information you have regarding the dog- the name of the owner, color and size of the dog, where you encountered the dog and if/where/when you have had previous contact with the dog. -Consider contacted your physician regarding post-exposure rabies prophylaxis.