Spring is here, and it’s time to start enjoying the beautiful outdoors again. Unfortunately, spring doesn’t just bring sunshine and flowers into your life; it also brings a marked increase in your risk of being bitten or attacked by a dog. About 800,000 people seek medical care for a dog bite every year, and half of them are children. Regardless of age, a dog bite victim faces severe pain, missed work or school days, and psychological trauma. A change in the seasons isn’t a direct cause of dog attacks; related factors are usually to blame.
Why Do Dog Bites Increase in Spring?
Spring invites outdoor activities, and these include dog owners walking their dogs or allowing them to run free. Naturally, this situation increases the odds of anyone who is outside running into an unfamiliar canine, which increases the chance of being bitten. However, exposure alone is not the only factor. Dogs that have been relatively isolated from crowds or unfamiliar people during the winter may find themselves suddenly in outdoor social situations they weren’t expecting. Placed in an uncomfortable position, a dog will become stressed and anxious, and this could lead to unexpected aggression. For example, if a family has a spring barbeque and invites all their friends over, their dog may feel intimidated if the yard is full of strangers. When a well-meaning guest tries to approach the dog, it may bite.
Another potential cause of increased aggression in spring is related to canine sexual behavior. Female dogs often go into heat in spring, which means that more dogs will be roaming the neighborhood to find mates. A female in heat is more likely to bite, and male dogs may become more easily agitated and aggressive when she is near.
Prepare Yourself and Your Kids for Canine Encounters
Before spring holidays and outdoor events begin, be sure to remind your little ones and yourself about the possibility of dog attacks. The following safety tips apply year-round.
- Never touch or disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, caring for puppies, or playing with a toy or bone.
- Do not approach a barking or growling dog, even if it’s behind a fence.
- Never pet a dog without its owner’s permission. Even with permission, pet the dog only on the shoulders or chest and not the head.
- When faced with a strange dog, avoid making eye contact. Never scream or run; simply stand still. Wait for the dog to leave, and then back away slowly.
- If a dog is loose in a public area, notify animal control immediately.
If You’ve Suffered a Dog Bite, We Can Help
No matter what time of the year it occurs, a dog bite injury can have tragic consequences. A dog attack doesn’t just cause physical pain or temporary disfigurement. It can lead to devastating financial loss and ongoing damage to your career, your social life, and even your personal relationships.
If you or your loved one has suffered a dog bite injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your monetary losses and your pain and suffering. Contact Jeffrey Harlan Penneys, Esq. today for a free, confidential consultation, and find out how you can get the compensation you deserve. Call 215-987-3550 (office) or 215-771-0430 (cell), or fill out our convenient online contact form.