Published on:

What to Do if Your Dog Bites Someone

In Florida, dog bites occur every day. If you own a pet, your dog might bite either you or someone else. What you will want to do will depend on whether someone else is involved and on whether the bite can be explained. If your dog has bitten someone else:
1) Remove your dog from the scene of the attack at once. Restrain your pet and confine it.
2) Help the victim of the bite. Even if the bite occurred because the victim was teasing your dog, make sure that the victim seeks medical advice and knows the importance of washing any wounds with soap and water. If the personal injury seems severe, for example if it appears that the victim has suffered brain injury or some other serious injury as a result of the attack, call 911.
3) To either the victim or the paramedics, provide your name, address, information about your pet’s most recent vaccinations against rabies and other diseases, and other important information. Unfortunately, if your pet has not had rabies vaccination updated, local laws may require that your pet be euthanized or quarantined for rabies testing. In this situation, the victim of the bite will need to undergo treatment for rabies.
4) Always report the dog bite. Your local laws will stipulate who you should report the bite too.
5) Take your dog to the veterinarian to discuss the situation further. Your vet may have some tips about preventing similar behavioural problems in the future. If the dog attack seems to come from nowhere, your vet should test your pet for possible illnesses that may have provoked the attack. In some cases, pets who are in severe pain will be more prone to biting.
If your dog bites you, you should:
1) Call your veterinarian to determine whether your dog’s vaccinations are up-to-date and schedule appointments with the veterinarian can see whether there is an illness that may result in your pet’s unusual behaviour. If your pet’s vaccinations are not up to date, you need to go to see your doctor in order to get rabies treatment.
2) Get first aid for the wound. Wash the wound with soap and water or visit your local emergency room if the injury seems severe.
3) Consider seeking obedience classes for your pet to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.