Whether or not you are a pet owner, chances are you come into contact with dogs fairly frequently. While many dogs, especially pets, are not aggressive, there is still a chance you could sustain a bite.
Even trained, calm dogs may bite you if they are scared or think that you pose a threat. If you do get a bite, treating the injury properly may prevent infection.
Applying first aid
The CDC provides detailed information on the proper way to respond to a dog bite. If a dog bites you, it is essential to take the injury seriously even if it appears to be minor. Dogs may spread germs and infect you with certain diseases, so proper medical care is essential.
According to the CDC, a minor wound simply requires thorough washing with soap and water. You may then apply a topical antibiotic and a sterile bandage. Deeper wounds may require pressure to control and stop the bleeding. The CDC recommends medical attention for any deep wounds from a dog bite. Life-threatening wounds require immediate care from emergency medical professionals.
Monitoring the injury
Any type of wound, even minor ones, may become infected without proper care. The CDC encourages you to seek medical attention if you notice redness or swelling around the injury or if you get a fever. You may need to visit a doctor to get vaccines for certain diseases, such as rabies, especially if you do not know anything about the dog that bit you.
The CDC also recommends contacting the animal control agency in your local area to report the incident. This is especially important if it was an unknown dog, or if you are unable to contact the owner to verify the dog’s rabies vaccination.