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How to Treat a Dog Bite

Getting bitten by a dog can be a scary event in someone's life, but it can happen to anyone. Even a calm, well-trained dog may react unexpectedly when he feels threatened or scared. If you're prepared for a worst case scenario, you can react calmly and avoid scarring yourself or your pet in the future. The tips below explain what to do after a dog bite to ensure that you recover in the best way possible.

Stop the Bleeding

If the dog bite is bleeding heavily, rip off some fabric to stop the blood. If you are close enough to home to get a bandage wrap, you could use that too. Most dog bites happen right around important arteries, so you need to make sure to clog them up as soon as possible. You could actually bleed out if you aren't careful.

Disinfect the Wound

Pour alcohol on the wound to disinfect it as soon as you can. This again applies to situations where you are close enough to your home or a store to do this. The alcohol is going to sting, but it will also help minimize the chance of infection. Do your best to cover the wound to protect it from dirt and germs in the air. If you can use a bandage as suggested above, that would be ideal.

Go to the Hospital

You need to go to the hospital after your dog bite, even if it doesn't seem severe at this time. This is especially true if someone else's dog bits you because you do not know if that dog had rabies or anything else that could be transmitted to humans. The doctor can test your blood to make sure that you are not going to have any serious diseases after the incident. Going to the hospital will also give you paperwork to show in court, if you happen to know who the dog's owner is. Any evidence you can provide for your case will be beneficial, should you pursue charges on the pet owner.

Identify the Cause of the Problem

If your dog was the one that bit you, you need to figure out why he may have done that. Did you do something to trigger the bite? Was he just playing too roughly? Could it be a sign of something more serious going on? Assess the circumstances surrounding your dog bite so you can avoid a similar incident in the future.

If It Was Someone Else's Dog, Pursue Compensation

These tips apply to situations where someone else's dog bit you. File a police report about the dog bite as soon as it happens. Then try to find the owner of the dog if at all possible. When you know who owns the dog, you can seek financial compensation from him or her to cover your medical bills, pain, and suffering. If your pets were also involved in the altercation, you can seek payment for their veterinary bills. This may be settled outside of court or in small claims court, depending on what the pet owner agrees to.

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