News Article
What to do if you get Bitten by a Dog
More than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States, and more than 800,000 receive medical attention for dog bites, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Dog bites can be very serious, potentially leading to lifelong scaring and even death.
Read our tips on what to do if you get bitten by a dog, and how to report it.
  • To help prevent the spread of infection, clean the wound immediately by washing with warm water and soap. Even if the skin has not been broken by the bite, this will help reduce swelling. Use the water to remove any dirt, hair or anything else from the wound. After a couple of minutes, dry your wound and apply a clean dressing or plaster. Use an antibiotic ointment as well, reapplied daily.
  • If you are bleeding heavily, apply a clean and sterile dressing to the wound and apply pressure while keeping the wound elevated.
  • If you are unaware of the dog's medical history, or if it has broken the skin, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible after any serious dog bite injuries as the dog may have a disease. Don't wait until the bite begins to show signs of infection (redness, puss, etc.) as this could make your injury much more serious.
  • Immediately identify the dog and its owner or the people who had custody of the dog when it attacked you. Obtain these names and addresses along with witness information.
  • Depending upon the severity of the dog bite, contact first responders (911) for immediate medical attention or have someone drive you to emergency care. Always seek professional medical treatment after being bitten or attacked by a dog. The risk of infection from a dog bite is far too great to ignore.
  • After you've been medically treated, even if the injury was minor, file a dog bite report with the proper city or county authorities. This legally documents your case and provides help to the next victim who may be bitten or attacked by the same dog. Without a paper trail, authorities cannot enforce effectively.
  • Take photos of your injuries, even if you need to unwrap bandages. Confer with a doctor or nurse if needed, they will tell you a safe manner in which to do so. It is also recommended that you photograph all of your wounds, including bruises, as well as all torn, bloody clothing and the location of the attack.
  • Contact a personal injury attorney right away. The legal issues surrounding dog bites are always complex and difficult to navigate through. If you have been injured because of a dog or animal bite, contact our experienced attorneys at Grabb & Durando. Call us at (520) 333-3333