You love animals, so you never expected to be a victim of a dog bite. You always felt that dogs were easy to predict, but when your friend’s pet suddenly lashed out, you realized that they could be more dangerous than you thought.
Dogs bite for all kinds of reasons, some of which may seem unexpected. To help you avoid serious injury, here are a few key things to keep in mind.
- Not all dogs will growl before they snap
While many dogs will give a warning growl before snapping, not all of them will. Some dogs will raise their lips to expose their teeth. Others will attempt to back away and tuck their tail.
When pressed, the dog may then nip or snap. While it might seem unexpected to you, in their mind, they were already showing signs of discomfort.
It’s also possible that a sudden injury could lead to a bite. For example, if you are walking near a dog and step on its paw, it might react by biting.
- A wagging tail doesn’t always mean a friendly hello
Wagging tails don’t actually mean that a dog is friendly. While a happy dog will usually have a wagging tail, it is more associated with excitement. The way the dog wags its tail matters. A quickly-wagging tail combined with pressed ears or an intense stare could be signaling that a dog is about to bite.
- Licking the lips doesn’t necessarily mean a dog is hungry
Some dogs will lick their lips when they’re hungry or smell something good, but this can also be a sign of stress. Dogs yawn, lick their lips and turn their heads when uncomfortable. Not recognizing this could lead to a snap or bite.
If you are bitten by a dog, the owner of that dog is likely going to be held responsible thanks to vicarious liability laws. That means that you may be able to pursue compensation to help you cover the injuries that you have suffered. Homeowners’ insurance policies, as well as other kinds of insurance, may kick in to help the owner cover your losses.