National Dog Bite Prevention Week is going on this week – officially from April 10-16. Whether you own a dog or not, this is a good time to understand the situations where dogs bite, and some of the things you can do to avoid a dog bite and protect yourself, your children, and your pets from being involved in a traumatic situation. 

Later in this blog post, we will also explore what to do if you are bitten by a dog, and some of your legal options. Florida is a “strict liability” state, which means dog bite victims can pursue compensation from their injuries from the owner of the dog. In other words, if you adopt or buy a dog, you are responsible for their actions, even if those actions are unpredictable or unexpected. 

Who Are the Most Frequent Victims of Dog Bites? 

Dogs are a very popular pet – with about 45% of homes having at least one dog. According to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF), about 4.5 million people are bitten by a dog each year. According to the AVMF, the majority of dog bites, if not all of them, are preventable occurrences. Many dogs that bite are not vicious or aggressive, but get into situations where they are acting out of fear or desire to protect. They may not understand that an Amazon delivery driver or a small child squeezing them and picking them up are not threats. 

What Can Be Done To Prevent Dog Bites 

The following are some tips for dog bite prevention week, keeping in mind that children and delivery drivers are some of the most common victims of dog bites: 

  • Educate your children: Parents should teach their kids to give dogs space, and to never pull a dog’s ears or tail, climb on or try to ride dogs. Even if your personal family pet is gentle and tolerant, allowing this behavior will teach young children that it is acceptable with other dogs. While adults are able to read dogs’ body language, children should be taught to be gentle around dogs and never approach an unknown dog. Talk to your children about risks at a level appropriate for their age. 
  • Be a responsible pet owner: Take care of your dog and make sure they are kept healthy, socialized, and fed. A dog that is sick or in pain is more likely to bite. 
  • Isolate your dog: If you own a dog, you can remove your dog from situations where they could be prone to bite. Have amazon and postal deliveries left in a place where the delivery driver will not have to encounter your dog. Situations like children’s birthday parties can be especially stressful to dogs. If a large group of people are coming over, you can essentially eliminate all risk by isolating the dog during the party. 
  • Don’t try to “win over” a dog: If you are in a situation where a dog is not friendly, simply give them their own space. Do not try to win them over with affection or treats. 

What To Do If You’ve Been Bitten By a Dog In Florida 

If you or your child were bitten by a dog in Florida, you should contact a knowledgeable and experienced Florida personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. At the Coleman Law Group, we offer a free and confidential consultation to answer your questions and explain your legal rights and options.

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