As a Proud Dog Parent, you want the best for your beloved dog. Unfortunately, too many online companies only want to make money from our sweet dogs. Proud Dog Parents was created to provide you with information from certified dog specialists as a Proud Dog Parent. Information that will ensure your dog's health improves.
Every year, around four million Americans experience dog bites in the U.S. Usually, the situation is not difficult. The dog bites do not affect the individuals or harm their skin. With that being said, there are occasions when problems can get tricky. There are possibilities of medical issues being caused by the dog bites. These may include rabies as well. However, with the help of proper medical care, you can reduce the probability of severe and long-term health issues caused by dog bites.
Proud Dog Parents was created to combat misinformation. If your dog is aggressive, download our free ebook: Be kind, Less aggression, more love! This ebook has been put together to unlearn aggressive behavior in your dog.
The question that arises is whether dog bites are dangerous? The simple answer is that it depends and varies for every dog. Well, in this article, we will cover this topic comprehensively. So, without further ado, let's dive into it.
Why do dogs bite?
There is no proud dog parent who likes to see his dog bite. Yet dogs do bite sometimes. It is your job as a dog parent to understand your dog. And since dogs can't talk, it's super important that you learn to appreciate his nonverbal communication.
To unlearn aggressive dog behavior, it's first essential to know why your dog bites. Because the fact is that dogs don't bite for no reason. Dogs almost always show signals before they start biting.
Therefore, the dog experts at Proud Dog Parents have listed the causes of aggressive dogs:
Cause 1: hungry
One cause your dog is exhibiting aggressive behavior is because your dog needs nutrition. Note: we rarely come across aggressive dogs that are not fed. Unfortunately, we do see many neglected dogs in many shelters. These dogs are often anxious, thirsty, and hung, try and exhibit aggressive behavior.
Cause 2: love
Love prevents aggressive behavior in your dog. We regularly visit shelters to give advice, and there, we see many dogs that have just been taken off the streets. These dogs have become fearful due to a lack of love. These dogs are more likely to bite than dogs who live in loving families.
Cause 3: Fear
Dogs that feel threatened or anxious will be more likely to bite. Before a dog bites, it almost always shows signs that it will bite. The signals by which you recognize an anxious dog that feels threatened are these:
- Licking lips
- Stressed paws
- No wagging tail
- Large eye pouts
- Teeth are visible
Cause 4: Territory
Dogs have territory. If other people or dogs come into this territory, dogs may feel threatened and start biting. A dog typically lives in groups. If someone in the group is attacked, a dog defends its group. There is a good chance that your dog sees you as part of his group. So your dog may react aggressively if he thinks you are being threatened.
Pay attention that if his favorite toy is taken away, he will not like this, and he may act aggressively.
Cause 5: Health problems
We come across many dogs in the Proud Dog Parents dog practice that shows aggressive behavior because they are in pain. These dogs often sleep very poorly because of the pain and often have no energy. As soon as these dogs feel threatened, they often turn to bite. If you think that your dog is in pain and therefore irritable, have him checked out by the vet.
Cause 6: playfulness
Many dogs are very playful. Puppies often bite people because they want to play. Their enthusiasm causes them not to know the difference between playing and biting. Don't take it personally if a dog bites you while playing. Just keep in mind to keep him away from other people. Many people are not served by a biting dog, even due to play behavior.
It would help if you taught your dog not to bite. Make sure you take a puppy course with your dog and unlearn biting behavior during play as soon as possible.
Types Of Dog Bites
To clearly understand whether dog bites are dangerous or not, it is important to discuss various types of dog bites. These dog bites are listed according to their seriousness and level of severity.
Type 1: Dog's Teeth Do Not Touch The Skins
This is the severity level one. You do not need to be worried if your dog has tried to bite you, but his teeth have not touched your skin.
Type 2: Dog's Teeth Touch But Do not Break Your Skin
Here, the situation becomes a little more severe as there are chances of your skin being damaged due to a dog bite. However, if only your dog's teeth have touched your skin but do not break it, you are on the safe side.
Type 3: Around Three to Four Puncture Wounds in Your Skin
This is level three of a dog bite. Even though there are various puncture wounds on your skin, things are still under control, and these dog bites may not prove to be much dangerous.
Type 4: Single Bite Causes Three to Four Punctures, Along With One Deep Puncture Wound
The situation becomes serious here, and it is essential to get medical assistance. It is because that one deep puncture wound can cause infection as well.
Type 5: Multiple Dog Bites Due To a Dog Attack Causing several Deep Puncture Wounds
Get medical assistance immediately and try to get as far as possible from that dog. It is because the situation here has gone out of control. It would help if you also got in touch with a doctor promptly as the condition of these wounds can deteriorate as well.
When Does a Situation Become More Severe?
We saw different types and stages of dog bites. However, all of these were associated with the
skin. Things can get severe if that dog bite affects the body parts beneath your skin.
The dog bite may cause injuries that transcend the epidermis to your body's muscles, bones, nerves, and blood vessels. These injuries can get aggravated and may ultimately affect the functionality of your body.
Due to the reason that bacteria can easily be embedded in the tissue, the bites can become infected. Individuals who get the edges are vulnerable to Pasteurella, staphylococcus, and streptococcus. Those people suffer from liver disease or diabetes; the infection can be complicated for them.
One thing which is essential to remember is that injury would not always be visible to you. This does not mean that you are not affected by it. You need to get medical assistance on an immediate basis if you can see swelling, redness, or feel pain after a dog bite.
How To Treat Dog Bite?
There are two main things you can do if you have been affected by a dog bite. You can either treat it at your home or seek assistance from a doctor. Let's first discuss how you can treat dog bites at home.
Treating Dog Bites at Home
When treating dog bites at home, the first thing you need to do is carefully examine the wound. If you do not see any blood, you must use soap and wash that bite using the water without wasting any time.
If the blood is visible, you must apply significant pressure for around five minutes using a clean cloth. Keep that until you notice that the wound has stopped bleeding. After doing that, you need to wash that specific wound area using soap and water. Washing the wound using a considerable amount of clean water can reduce the chances of infection being caused due to dog bites.
Also, cover your wound with a clean bandage, especially if it is open. Moreover, to avoid infection and swelling, you need to keep the wounded area above the level of your heart.
Remember, you can only treat dog bites at home if it is not severe. For instance, we discussed different types of dog bites. If it falls under the first three types, you can only treat it at home? If the situation is more complex, you immediately need assistance from a doctor.
What Will Doctor Suggest
The doctor will first examine and assess the condition of the victim. The main thing that a doctor may recommend is antibiotics.
In addition to this, if the dog has rabies, this would ultimately mean that the victim has been affected by rabies. The doctor may recommend multiple rabies vaccinations for the victim for that purpose. These vaccinations are essential because rabies can become extremely serious and may deteriorate the victim's condition if not taken.
If a dog bites a person, what happens?
Even though many people consider their dog their best friend, many forget that dogs can also bite. A dog can bite because their survival instinct tells them to peck at that moment.
Understand a dog's instincts
Many dogs are misunderstood. It is important to act appropriately in every situation. After a dog bites someone, it is essential to contact the police department. The person making the report will want to know exactly what happened and gather all the information.
In addition, it is essential to consult a doctor to have someone look at the wound as soon as possible. An infection is lurking, and therefore it is crucial to have a doctor look at the damage.
What if my dog keeps biting me aggressively?
The certified dog experts at Proud Dog Parents regularly receive inquiries from dog parents who report that their dog keeps biting. This is why our dog experts have dived deeper into this topic and would love to help you prevent your dog from continuing to bite you in the future.
As stated in the article, there are different forms of biting. Biting is due to playfulness, and biting is due to aggressive behavior. In all respects, it is advisable to unlearn biting.
How do you stop your dog from biting?
Now that you understand why your dog bites and what types of biting there are, we will go deeper into how to stop your dog from chewing. Please note that you should always consult a dog trainer or doctor if your dog shows aggressive behavior.
Associate biting with something bad
Dogs, especially puppies, often bite people's hands and legs. Often they do this through playful behavior. Just as with children, teach puppies what you allow them to do. If your dog wants to bite you, then lead him away calmly. Do this consistently, so he learns that he is not allowed to bite you.
Prevention is better than cure.
If your dog always wants to bite your hoody, make sure he is not tempted to do so. We always say: that prevention is better than cure. Don't let him be tempted to engage in aggressive behavior. Try to minimize the temptation for him to develop his biting behavior. Again, it is essential to do this consistently.
Movement = play
Dogs are in love with playing. Anything that moves is an occasion to play. If you feel that your dog will bite when things move, bring his enthusiasm to 0 by not moving anymore.
Correct, correct, and correct
The more consistent you are in unlearning biting behavior, the better. In Proud Dog Parents' training practice, we are still too many inconsistent dog parents. If the rule is that your dog can't lie on the couch, then he never can. The same goes for biting. Every time your dog wants to bite, correct him. Do this consistently and never allow concessions.
How to correct a dog if he bites you?
No matter how much you love your dog, you must act when your dog exhibits behavior that is not permissible. Biting is not acceptable.
It would help if you corrected him, or he will continue to bite.
For starters, stay calm. Your dog will not love you less once you act after his biting behavior. Then use the following tips to prevent your dog from biting again.
But first this: why does your dog bite? As you have already read in this article, there are several reasons why your dog chews. So there are also different solutions to get rid of the biting behavior.
Biting because of fear
Fear is one reason why your dog may bite. If your dog bites someone, it is often because the person reacts unexpectedly, making him feel threatened. It could well be that it is a one-time action. That person suddenly moved too fast or passed by, which startled your dog.
Make sure you build up enough trust with your dog. Take him for a walk and play with him. The more familiar he is with you and other people, the less likely he will bite.
Make sure you are the leader.
Dogs are group animals and have a boss. That may sound a little disrespectful. Yet, if your dog does not see you as the leader, he is more likely to bite. Teach him what rules are in place and correct him when necessary. In this way, your dog will begin to see you as a pack leader and listen to you more.
Rules, clarity, and consistency
Rules are necessary to teach your dog to stop biting and to unlearn other behaviors that are not desirable. The pack leader always makes sure the rules are clear to the dog. You, as the proud dog parent, are the pack leader. Make sure the rules are consistently implemented and that there is no doubt about whether something is allowed or not.
Reward your dog when he shows good behavior, and punish him when he does not. Over time, your dog will recognize when he is exhibiting right or wrong behavior.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: What to do if your dog bites you and breaks in the skin?
Always go to an emergency room once you have been bitten by a dog if there is swelling, your skin turns red, or pus comes out of the wound. If you have been bitten in the neck, head, face, hand, or feet, it is advisable to go to the doctor.
Q2: When should I be concerned about a dog bite?
It's good to check at the emergency room if you're worried about a dog bite. Have a doctor look at the wound to determine the next steps.
Q3: Do I need a tetanus shot after a dog bite?
In most cases, your doctor will recommend a tetanus shot if a dog has bitten you or if you have not had one in the past five years.
Q4: Is it dangerous if your dog bites you?
A dog bite can be dangerous. This depends on vaccinations, the type of bite, the kind of dog, and whether a dog has been in contact with other street dogs and cats. Therefore, always have a checkup by a doctor to determine if a bite is dangerous.
As we have discussed, some dog bites may not affect you much. However, some dog bites may prove to be extremely severe and dangerous. The only thing you need to do is be very careful and take prompt action if you are affected by dog bites.
In addition to this, you also need to care about your dog. It would help if you regularly visited the vet and should also ensure that your dog has immunity to rabies. It would help if you got your little furry friend vaccinated. This will save yours as well as your four-legged friend's life.
Also, download our free ebook: Relieve stress & anxiety in your dog!
We are super excited to hear your reaction to this article. Maybe you have additions or experiences you'd like to share with other dog parents?
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