How to Prevent Dog Bites

Any bite wound introduces bacteria into the skin and may result in infection, particularly for people with compromised immune systems. A doctor will carefully clean out and medicate any bite wound with antimicrobial solutions or an additional vaccine such as Tetanus or antibiotics as appropriate.

Painful bites often signal serious injuries. Numbness could indicate damage to nerves or bones.

Preventing Bites

Dogs make wonderful companions, but they can also be dangerous in certain circumstances. Even seemingly placid canines may become aggressive if threatened or provoked and their powerful teeth are capable of inflicting serious harm upon humans. Luckily, most bites can be prevented with some planning and foresight.

First step to treating a dog bite should be immediate cleaning and medical assistance, such as antibiotics to help prevent infections. A doctor may also suggest performing a physical exam to evaluate damage to deep structures like muscles, nerves and bones.

Dog bites usually occur because a dog misreads human cues or becomes scared or uncomfortable in an unfamiliar situation, which is why early instruction of basic commands and socialization are so crucial. Your pup will likely remain calmer if given ample exercise, quality food, and is up-to-date on his veterinary care requirements.

Teaching children how to interact with pets is also crucial. They should never reach over or under fences to pet unknown animals and should always ask permission before petting a dog, reaching toward its ears or tail, petting or reaching toward its ears or tail. Furthermore, wrestling, tug-of-war or any high-energy games with dogs should be avoided as this could cause overly excited behavior that leads to nips and bites from overexcited puppies or other canines.


No matter the size or severity of a bite wound, even small wounds require immediate medical care as even minor scratches could lead to infection. Dogs are capable of transmitting the bacteria Pasteurella that live in their mouths into human bodies causing cellulitis infection; should these bacteria enter bloodstream they could lead to Tetanus or Rabies which is fatal without treatment.

Dog bites that penetrate the skin are more likely to result in infection and are particularly likely to occur on hands, feet or the genital area. Individuals suffering from conditions like diabetes or taking medications that inhibit healing wounds and fighting infections have an increased risk from dog bites.

After being bitten, individuals should immediately wash the wound with soap and warm water to clean and stop any bleeding. Next, an antibiotic cream like Bacitracin should be applied directly to the bite before covering it with a sterile bandage that should be changed multiple times throughout the day.

An examination should take place within 24-48 hours after being bitten in order to reduce the risk of bacterial infection and determine if tetanus or rabies vaccination is required. Furthermore, your physician can decide if stitches should be applied in order to best manage infection risks while still leaving a better-looking scar behind.


Wash the wound with mild soap and water and keep it clean in order to reduce infection risk. People living with health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease or those taking medications which suppress immune systems have an increased risk for infection from dog bites as their bodies cannot readily defend against such threats.

Your doctor will carefully assess the depth of the wound to assess if it threatens muscles, tendons, nerves or bones. They may use antiseptic solutions like hydrogen peroxide, chlorhexidene or betadine to kill any germs present and decide if closing or leaving open will allow drainage; additionally they may prescribe antibiotics if necessary.

Closed wounds may help improve the appearance of scars. While closing increases the risk of infection, doctors will assess this decision on an individual basis and choose whether or not it would benefit their patient. Wounds on facial structures tend to be sutured while those located elsewhere usually remain open.

If a wound has been punctured or crushed, a drain may be installed to assist your body in draining fluid that could form an abscess. Your doctor may prescribe broad-spectrum antibiotics such as amoxicillin-clavulanate or enrofloxacin to reduce infection risks; in addition, they will likely recommend getting a tetanus vaccination against bacteria-caused tetanus to protect you and protect other people in the community from being at risk of disease transmission.


Bite prevention involves keeping dogs safely confined and trained, monitoring pet owners to make sure that their animals don’t act aggressively or exhibit signs of aggression, and teaching children the appropriate way to interact with pets – this includes not leaving children alone with any dog (even family ones that are generally good), asking permission first before petting an animal or playing with one.

Learn to read your dog’s body language so as not to disturb eating, sleeping or caring for puppies when necessary. People living with serious medical conditions such as diabetes, liver disease or illnesses that suppress the immune system may be more at risk from infections from dog bites than others.

If someone is bitten by a dog, they should seek medical help immediately. Doctors will clean and treat the wound with warm soapy water as soon as possible in order to reduce infection risks and may prescribe antibiotic ointment as well as testing for rabies as soon as possible if unvaccinated or feral dogs have been involved. Most bite wounds will leave scars; severe or disfiguring injuries may require plastic surgery procedures for reduction.