Right approach when your dog bites someone
While no one wants to believe their dog will actually bite someone, it does happen. Some quick dog bite stats:
- American households have nearly 90 million pet dogs, according to the American Pet Products Association.
- Approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Out of those bites, an estimated 800,000 result in medical care.
- Insurers paid out more than $1 billion in dog-related injury claims in 2022, a 28% jump over 2021 even though the number of claims decreased last year, according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I) and State Farm.
Apologizing when your dog bites someone is crucial for maintaining good relationships and taking responsibility for your pet’s actions. Here are some steps to follow when apologizing after a dog bite incident:
Stay composed during the situation, although it may be challenging, try to maintain a calm demeanor.
Separate your dog from the scene. If you’re at home, confine your dog to a crate or another room. If you’re outside, find a secure place such as your car, ensuring the temperature is comfortable and safe.
Assess the severity of the bite. Determine if it caused a superficial scrape without puncturing the skin, broke the skin, resulted in multiple bites with deep wounds, or caused severe injury to the victim.
Assist the victim. Provide immediate first aid and ensure thorough cleaning of the wound to prevent infection. If necessary, help the victim seek medical attention, regardless of the bite’s severity, especially if the skin is broken.
Act promptly: As soon as you are informed about the incident, take immediate action to address the situation and offer your apology.
Express concern and empathy: Start by expressing genuine concern for the well-being of the person who was bitten. Show empathy and acknowledge their pain or discomfort caused by the incident.
Take responsibility: Accept full responsibility for your dog’s actions. Avoid making excuses or blaming others, as it is essential to show accountability.
Apologize sincerely: Offer a sincere and heartfelt apology to the person who was bitten. Clearly state that you are sorry for what happened and acknowledge the impact it had on them.
Provide assistance: Ask if there is anything you can do to help the person who was bitten, such as providing first aid supplies or assisting with medical expenses if necessary.
Offer information: Be prepared to provide your contact information and any details about your dog’s vaccination records or past behavior, if relevant and requested.
Follow up: After apologizing, follow up with the person who was bitten to check on their well-being and see if there is anything else you can do to assist them during their recovery.
Take steps to prevent future incidents: Reflect on the situation and take appropriate measures to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. This may involve additional training for your dog, working with a professional behaviorist, or implementing safety measures to ensure the well-being of others.
Remember, it is essential to consult with legal and local authorities, such as animal control or your local municipality, to understand any legal obligations or actions required after a dog bite incident.