Supervise Pets at Holiday Gatherings to Reduce the Risk of Dog Bite Injuries in Winston-Salem, Statewide


December 22, 2011
By Lee Law Offices, P.A. on December 22, 2011 10:33 AM |

Hickory injury lawyers want to remind pet owners to keep a watchful eye on their dogs during the holiday season to avoid a potential dog-bite accident. You may be having visitors coming and going this time of year that can cause a change in routine for your pet. Disruption can cause even the friendliest of dogs to become agitated or stressed, which can lead to serious injury when a dog attacks in Winston-Salem, Statesville or elsewhere in North Carolina.
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American Humane Association reports there are an estimated 4.7 million dog bites annually in the U.S. Roughly 20 percent require a trip to the emergency room. Hands, arms, feet and legs are the most common areas to be bitten on an adult as evidenced in more than 70 percent of reported accidents. Children are more likely to be bit on the face, head or neck (65 percent) as these body parts are in close relation to a dog's mouth. Half of the dog bites that occur are to children under the age of 12 years-old. Alarmingly, 70 percent of deaths caused by a dog attack are children ages 9 and under. Newborns left unsupervised with a dog in the room are 370 times more likely to be killed by a pet.

Many pet owners have a misconception that their pets are so friendly that they would never hurt anyone, especially at home. What pet owners need to understand is that dogs are protective by nature, especially when it comes to family members or where they live. Almost 60 percent of dog bite fatalities occur on an owner's property compared to 24 percent off the owner's property when a dog is unrestrained. Almost two-thirds of bites occur when the victim is familiar with a dog on the victim's own property.

Dogs often give recognizable indicators when they become stressed. If you plan to have relatives or friends visit over the holidays, look for the following signs from your pet that they may have had too much excitement: yawning or constant licking of their chops, pacing, tail is tucked or moving stiff and swift like a rattle snake, hiding under furniture or behind your leg, intense staring towards a person, growling, fur is raised along their back or excessive barking.

Pet owners can reduce the risk of dog bite incidents this holiday season with the following dog bite prevention tips from doggonesafe:

-Keep your pet crated until visitors arrive and get settled in a seat.

-Instruct children not to approach your pet too quickly. Have them stand still and let the dog sniff them before they try to reach or pet the dog.

-Assign an adult to watch the pet for signs of stress. If the pet seems agitated or stressed, put them in a separate room or crate with their favorite chew toy or bone.

-Remind visitors not to feed the pet scraps from the table.

-Never permit visitors to bring their own pets to large gatherings, even if the dogs are familiar with each other.

-Make sure children and your pet are always supervised.

The personal injury lawyers at Lee Law Offices, P.A. are an experienced team of attorneys dedicated to protecting the rights of dog-bite victims in North and South Carolina. If you have been injured in a dog-bite accident, call to discuss your rights at a free and confidential appointment. Call 1-800-887-1965.

More Blog Entries:
North Carolina Car Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents, Premise Liability Claims a Halloween Danger, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, October 24, 2010.