Nearly 50 million households in the United States own one or more dogs. While most families have well-trained canines who will never have a biting incident, there is still a risk that some dogs will bite members of the family or other people they come into contact with. This can even happen with otherwise well-behaved dogs when startled, scared or trying to play.
Here are some of the most common causes of dog bites in California.
Apprehension or fear
Just like people, dogs get fearful of unfamiliar people and situations. Fear can lead an animal to use its basic instinct to protect itself, which may result in a bite regardless of whether or not the recipient intended to scare the dog. To help avoid injury, a person should be cautious when approaching a strange dog and avoid getting too close.
Since dogs cannot express themselves with words the way humans can, they resort to different measures to express their discomfort, which may include biting. If a dog is unwell, its owner should be especially careful when handling it.
Playtime can easily turn into an injury when a canine gets overly enthusiastic. Dogs lightly bite other dogs when playing and chew on their toys when having fun. However, even a playful bite can be painful when coming from a large dog or if the recipient is a small child.
When those who are around dogs are aware of the most common causes of dog bites, they can take precautions to help keep themselves safe.