Dogs are often sweet companions, loyal to their family and wanting to be loved. However, there are still dogs that can, and do, bite. Jobs that require exposure to dogs that you do not know can put you at increased risk for a dog attack. Luckily, the vast majority of these bites are preventable.
In the year 2017, 350,000 people were treated in hospitals for injuries caused by dogs (American Veterinary Medical Association). Some of those injured were children—as young as two years old or younger. U.S. postal service workers make up a significant portion of those who suffer dog attacks (The Devadoss Law Firm). Unfortunately, attacks from dogs normally only garner attention when the dog matches a particular stereotype (such as a pit bull). It’s important to recognize any dog can bite, and measures should be taken to prevent potential injuries. Should you fall victim to a dog attack, you need to be aware of what steps to take next.
Dog Bites Are Not the Only Injury to Worry About
The obvious concern with dog attacks are bite and puncture wounds. The teeth of any dog can cause serious damage to skin and muscles, even potentially severing some nerves. These wounds can be made even more severe if the victim pulls away from the dog; if the dog does not let go, the muscle can further tear. This can cause damage to both soft and hard tissue. Injured soft tissue, which is the connective tissue between body parts and organs, can lead to torn ligaments, damaged tendons, and loss of function. Injured hard tissue, which consists of your bones, means fractures that will need medical attention.
In addition to this damage, there is the possibility of infection when wounds are not properly cleaned or treated. Infection is particularly common in puncture wounds. It is of utmost importance to keep all wounds clean and seek medical attention for serious injuries. If you are injured on the job, it is imperative to report the incident. This way it is documented, and you can later submit a claim for compensation.
How to Prevent Dog Bites
There are a few measures you can take to prevent on-the-job injuries related to dog attacks.
Using mobile delivery services: Many postal services now offer fully mobile delivery. This uses a handheld, electronic device that can safely deliver packages. There are also apps that some companies use that allow customers to notify delivery workers that they have a dog. They are also able to track their package, so they can arrange for their dog to be secure.
Use gloves: using thick gloves can protect delivery workers hands and wrists when dropping off packages.
Be aware: Spreading awareness of dog attacks can better inform communities on the necessity of properly securing dogs.
National Dog Bite Prevention Week takes place every year during the second week of April. This week is dedicated to spreading awareness on dog attacks and how to prevent them. Get involved and spread the message!
Should you suffer a dog attack, report the incident and seek medical attention.
1.American Veterinary Medical Association. (n.d.). National Dog Bite Prevention Week. https://www.avma.org/events/national-dog-bite-prevention-week
2.The Devadoss Law Firm, P.L.L.C. (2016, June 14). What treatment for dog bite can involve. https://www.fedemploymentlaw.com/blog/2016/06/what-treatment-for-dog-bite-can-involve.shtml