Bitten by a Dog? Here's 6 Must-Do Steps IMMEDIATELY

Bitten by a Dog? Here's 6 Must-Do Steps IMMEDIATELY

Most of the time, dogs are very sweet and loving. But during your daily walks, sometimes we encounter rough dogs or unleashed dogs that can bite!

Any dog of any breed can bite. Big dogs and small dogs can both break the skin and hurt you, so let’s talk about what to do in case of this kind of emergency.

Dog bites can be scary, but don’t worry; we’ve got your back with some easy-to-follow steps that'll help you handle the situation like a pro.

What To Do If A Dog Bites

If you find yourself dealing with a dog bite, here's what to do.

#1 Get To Safety

First, find a safe environment. If the dog is still present, does it pose a threat? You might need to leave the area. Try to get some space and a barrier between you and the dog.

#2 Clean The Wound

Even if it hurts, you need to clean the wound right away.

Use a mild soap and warm water to help remove dirt and germs. This will reduce the risk of infection and help the wound heal faster. Then, use an antiseptic like Bactine if you want. But don't use hydrogen peroxide. It will kill bacteria, but it also kills healthy tissue.

#3 Cover the Bite

At this stage, you should be able to see the bite clearly. If it's just a scratch or a very shallow wound, apply antibiotic ointment and a bandage. But if the wound is:

  • A deep puncture
  • Jagged
  • Long
  • On delicate tissue like the face or hand
  • Bleeding heavily

Then you need to get it looked at by a medical professional. If you are going to go to the doctor, don't put an adhesive bandage on the wound. They will have to take it off, and this will pull at the edges of the bite. It might reopen it! Instead, use a clean cloth or paper towel to control the bleeding.

#4 Seek Medical Attention

Dog bites introduce bacteria to the body. This can lead to infections. Also, many dog bites need stitches to hold them shut and allow the wound to heal. A doctor can tell you how severe the wound is. You may also need antibiotics or shots.

#5 Find Out About The Dog

If possible, somebody should do this before Step 4, so the doctor can know about it. If you're by yourself, it might not be possible. But you need to get some info about the dog.

You need to find out about the dog's breed, size, color, and markings. Get the owner's contact information if it isn't your dog. Most important of all, find out if the dog is up to date on its rabies shots. This information may be necessary for legal authorities- and it isn't always up to you whether or not the law gets involved.

#6 Report The Incident

If you seek medical attention, the doctor is usually obligated to do this step. Reporting the incident means that actions will be taken to prevent future bites. This is not fun, but a dog with a bite history can be dangerous, especially if kids are in the picture. If the bite was severe enough to require medical intervention, animal control needs to know about it.

What If The Bite Isn't Serious?

Not all dog bites are equally serious. If it's a little nip that doesn't break the skin, you still need to wash the site to make absolutely sure there's no injury. Then, you need to figure out why the bite happened.

If your dog nipped you while you were playing roughly, you need to teach them that this isn't ok. And the way to do that is pretend you're a puppy. Seriously! When puppies play with each other and one bites too hard, the bitten pup cries and doesn't engage.

Say "ouch!" in a loud voice, but don't yell harshly. Then, get up and walk away, and ignore your dog for a while. This shows them that when they use their mouths like that, it's not ok.

You also need to be honest with yourself about the bite. Were you doing something that annoyed the dog? Did you ignore their other warning signs? If you regularly ignore their warning signs, it tells your dog that biting is the only communication you understand. This happens a lot with small dogs. Chihuahuas, for example, are a breed with a nippy reputation. But think about how people treat Chihuahuas. A lot of the time, people ignore their body language. They don't respect their boundaries. These little dogs learn that the only way to get what they want is to bite.

Many dog bites are preventable. If you respect your dog's boundaries and body language, the odds of a bite go way down. To learn more about how to train a dog to have good manners and other training tips, be sure to follow the Joyride Blog!


Share this post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.


Headquartered in sunny Los Angeles , CA, we are committed to providing products that will make you and your dog happier and better with each other and out in the world.

learn more