The holidays are a time for sparkling lights, eggnog, brightly wrapped presents and — unfortunately — dog bites.
Every year, dog bites spike around the holiday season. Why? It’s simple: Dogs, just like human beings, tend to get stressed out by all of the activity and unpredictability of the season. When a dog gets stressed, it is far more likely to become aggressive — and that often means biting whoever is nearby.
Some of the chief stressors a dog faces during the holidays are:
- Unsupervised children
- Unfamiliar people
- Less exercise due to weather or time demands
- Stomach upset from too many treats
- Too much crowding by humans
- Schedule changes
- Strangers in the home
- Extra noise and activity in the home
- Other pets brought by guests
If you or your family members will be around a strange (or only slightly familiar) dog this Christmas, keep watch for signs that the dog is getting upset, including:
- Pulled back ears
- Stiff body posture or raised fur
- A display of teeth
- A rigid tail
- Pulling away
Any of these signs should tell you to back away from the dog — and make sure that your children do also.
The best defense against a dog bite is a responsible owner. Dogs under stress should be removed to a safe place where they can calm down. This protects both the dog and any humans around.
When an owner fails in his or her duty to control their dog and you get bit, you may quickly see your medical expenses rise. You may also lose time from work and suffer a considerable amount of pain. You or your child may even be left with permanent injuries and scars. Find out how you can assert your rights against a negligent owner — even if that owner is a friend or family member. Contact our office today to learn more.