Americans love their dogs, just look at the increase in the pet care industry. What used to be a small shop located in a local mall where you’d go to see the cute puppies and kitties is now almost a 50 billion dollar a year enterprise, and growing. It is estimated that there are over 78 million pet dogs in the United States. As much as we love Fido, one fact is clear: dogs bite. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, each year over 4.5 million people – adults and children – are bitten by dogs. Almost a quarter of dog bites require a hospital visit. That’s over 1 million hospital visits a year because of a dog bite.
The average cost for treating a dog bite in a hospital or by a medical professional is close to $25,000. If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, you may run the risk of the wound becoming infected. It’s often not just a one shot deal to receive proper medical care for the dog attack injuries. In addition to the basic emergency medical treatment, ongoing professional care may include plastic surgery to repair damage and scarring. In many cases, the dog mauling was a traumatic event, and the dog bite victim may require ongoing treatment for emotional issues related to the dog attack.
Most dog bites involve small children under the age of 10. The most common
bite victims receive injuries to the face. A majority of bites occur in the home or happen on the property of family or a friend or neighbor. Your neighbor’s friendly pup can and often does turn aggressive without any notice or seeming provocation. Any breed can turn vicious, but some breeds are more likely to attack than others. The public is aware about some of the most commonly known dangerous dogs, but Cocker Spaniels and Poodles can inflict serious injury as well.
Your next door neighbor may think his dog would never bite anyone in a million years, but the pros know better. Professionals who deal with animals like animal control officers, or veterinarians urge caution when dealing with unknown dogs: Dave Dickinson, of the Sacramento County Animal Care and Regulation
states “People get bitten because they see a dog they don’t know. It’s not acting aggressive. It’s just kind of walking around. They go up to it and they think the first thing you should do is put their hand out and let the dog sniff your hand.The dog doesn’t know you’re reaching out in friendship. You’re just coming at them. A lot of times people get nipped that way. It’s just the dog’s way of saying, ‘You’re in my space. Stay away from me. I’m not interested in you right now.'”