Dog Safety

What I wish I knew before my dog was bitten by another dog

STOP: If your dog was bitten just now, please go to your vet ASAP

Information you need from the owner of the dog that bit yours

1. Full name and contact information
Most important and you can use this to get the rest of the information later.
2. Proof of rabies vaccinations for their dog
3. Applicable insurance (ie: If this happened on their property, homeowner’s insurance may cover)

Always take your dog to the vet

Even if you don’t see anything, bleeding can happen later, internal injuries may not be seen and puncture wounds can be much deeper than you thought. Fur/hair can also hide the extent of the injury.

The sooner the better. The sooner you are able to visit the vet, the better the possible outcome. Our emergency vet shaved the area, cleaned the wounds and then assessed the depth to see if antibiotics, topical medication and/or stitches would be required.

How to defend yourself and your dog

Every scenario and opposing dog will be different. You must do what is right for yourself in your situation. The dog may be off leash or on leash, any size and any breed. But here are some things I thought may have helped me to know:
Sometimes scooping up a small dog is good and other times not enough and the dog may still attack.

How to stop an incoming aggressive dog to give you some time to get away:

  • Distract with an object or throw a bunch of treats on their head to distract/startle
  • Dog air horn may scare the dog enough, but hold onto your dog securely as your dog may also run away.
  • Cintronella spray may also work with some dogs (please note pepper spray may be another option but laws are different for every state and it may also land on you and your dog)

How to get a dog to release a bite:

Reporting the incident

  • Check your state’s dog bite law and policy for reporting dog attacks. Some states have a more serious policy than others and some locations will not do anything unless the dog bites a human.
  • Keep all receipts for vet bills
  • If there are witnesses, keep their contact info
  • Take photos of the attacking dog and the dog walker/owner
  • Call the police to report the incident