Most interactions with dogs are without incident. However, dog bites account for a significant number of injuries in the US each year. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, over 4.5 million dog bites occur in the United States every year. Of these incidents, 800,000 require professional medical attention.
If you suffer from a dog bite, you need to know how to respond. See below to learn more about what to do immediately after a dog bite.
Get medical treatment
Even if the bite does not seem severe, you need to receive medical attention. This is especially true for puncture wounds. Take a picture of the injury if you have time, as this is valuable if you need to file a lawsuit against the dog’s owner.
Look around for any witnesses to the incident. Try to get their contact information if you need it for a lawsuit in the future. Witnesses lend you credibility for your side of the story.
Exchange information with the owner
If you know the dog’s owner, get their information as soon as possible. You need to see the dog’s vaccination history and breed. You also need to get the owner’s insurance, address and contact information.
Contact animal control
Consider filing a report with animal control. If you notice this dog wanders around without supervision by its owner, filing a report may prevent future attacks.
Taking careful documentation and seeking medical attention is the bare minimum of what you should do after a dog bite. You need to have a plan of action in place for any emergency, especially if you have children.