What to do if a friend’s dog bites you

Many people assume bites from dogs are relatively rare. However, approximately 4.5 million people suffer dog bites each year in the United States. Out of all those bites, one out of every five will require medical attention. 

If you suffer a bite from a stranger’s dog, then you may not have a problem with contacting the authorities and seeking medical attention. However, many people feel differently when a friend’s dog bites them. The injury may be severe, but they do not want to jeopardize their friend losing a pet that is ordinarily sweet. 

Get medical attention

First and foremost, you want to make sure the bite is not too severe; you do not want to risk an infection. Always see a doctor following a dog bite to ensure you are safe and healthy. 

Pursue legal action

Most people do not want to sue a friend and potentially ruin the relationship. However, if your friend has dog bite insurance, then you do not have to worry about a thing. You can still file a lawsuit, and if you win, then the insurance agency will compensate you. This allows you to seek the damages you deserve without possibly losing a close friend in the process. 

Contact animal control

Similarly, you may feel hesitant to contact animal control because you do not want the state to put your friend’s dog down. Again, this is an unfounded fear. If this was the dog’s first offense, then the state will typically not put it down. One thing that will most likely happen is that animal control will require your friend and the dog to attend special training courses to prevent this kind of thing from happening again. These courses are great opportunities for dogs to work out troublesome behavior. Ultimately, your friend should feel willing to do whatever possible to mend the friendship. Going to a few classes is a small price to pay.