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How to prevent dog and animal bites

Dogs and other pets are often considered to be "part of the family" in many Maryland households and others around the country. While most owners can't envision their pets attacking someone, the reality is that dog and animal bites are actually quite common. As Dog Bite Prevention Week approaches, experts want to focus on how to keep bites from occurring.

Statistics show that most bites happen with familiar dogs, either a family's own pet or one belonging to a friend. Therefore, it is easier to observe an animal's typical behavior and note anything that might trigger aggressive behavior. Children are often the target of dog bites, according to reports. Animal care and control workers stress the need to train children -- and  adults -- on how to properly behave around dogs to prevent bites.

It is wise to act cautiously around unfamiliar dogs or even avoid them if possible. Of course, young children should never be left alone with a dog. Before petting a dog, a person should always check with the owner to see if it is wise. Also, since dogs love to run and chase things, it is not a good idea to run near a dog that one doesn't know. If attacked or threatened by a dog, the best response is to remain as calm as possible to avoid startling the animal.

Dog and animal bites can cause devastating injuries and severe trauma. If someone has been bitten by a dog, a lawsuit may be filed against the dog's owner. A Maryland personal injury lawyer can work with clients to navigate the legal process. Proceeds from a successful claim can help victims pay for hospital expenses, other medical costs or ongoing therapy.

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