Many residents of Connecticut own dogs and consider them to be important family members. While dogs are often thought of as the best friends of people, they can also be dangerous and cause serious injuries when they bite. A recent report from Albany Medical Center (AMC) in neighboring New York State reveals that there has been a sharp uptick in dog bites in area that it serves, and most were caused by family pets.
Surge in dog bite incidents
According to AMC, the hospital’s pediatric emergency department treated 20 children who were injured by dog bites in December. This represented a large increase in the number of dog bite cases the hospital normally treats, and 94% of the child dog bite cases were caused by family pets. The hospital states that dog bites were the second leading cause of injury treated. The fact that the majority of the incidents involved family pets demonstrates people need to be aware that any dog can bite, including their pets.
Preventing dog bites
Pet owners need to understand the signs dogs show when they are distressed and keep their pets locked away when they have guests over. Even an ostensibly friendly dog can bite if it experiences stress. Some of the signs a dog is under stress and could bite include the following:
- Backing away
- Low tail wagging
- Peering up from the side with the whites of the eyes showing
- Suddenly freezing up
- Licking lips and yawning
When people see signs of stress, they should back away from the dog and give it space. Families might also consider sending their pets to dog training courses to better acclimate them to interacting with children and adults.
Dog bites can range in severity from minor cuts to major lacerations and broken bones. Whenever a dog bite breaks the skin, people should seek medical treatment. Dogs have a lot of dangerous bacteria in their mouths, and even a minor cut can become infected. People who are bitten by dogs while visiting family members or friends might recover compensation for their medical bills and other losses through the pet owner’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy.