Dog Bite Treatment (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

How can dog bites be prevented?

Dog bites often occur when there is miscommunication between the dog and the victim. It is not common to have an unprovoked attack by a stray dog. Often, it is the dog owner or a family member who is bitten.

Dog bite prevention begins with:

  • Choosing a dog breed that is compatible with the family situation.
  • Aggressive dogs may not be appropriate in a home with infants and small children.
  • Dogs are social animals; therefore socializing and appropriate training will help minimize the risk of dog bites.

Safety tips to prevent dog bites

Reader Stories
  • Do not approach a stray or unfamiliar dog, especially if its owner is not present.
  • Do not approach a dog with quick motions or from above. Allow time for the dog to acknowledge your presence before attempting to pet it.
  • Prior to contact with the dog, ask the owner if is OK to pet the dog.
  • If a confrontation occurs, do not make eye contact and do not run or scream.
  • Do not approach an unfamiliar dog while it is eating, sleeping, or caring for puppies.
  • Do not leave young children or infants unsupervised with a dog.

Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care


Centers for Disease Control, "Dog Bite Prevention," May 14, 2009

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/2/2015

Puppies and Dogs Quiz: Test Your IQ

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Dog Bite Treatment - Type of Experience Question: What was your experience with a dog bite?
Dog Bite (Treatment) - Experience Question: Were you or someone you know bitten by a dog? Please share your experience.
Dog Bite (Treatment) - Treatment Question: Were you bitten by a dog? How was the wound(s) treated?
Dog Bite (Treatment) - Prevention Question: Please provide tips for preventing a dog bite.