Half of all dog bites come from pets that the sufferer knows, such as one owned by a friend. 4.5 million dog bites are reported in the United States every year, with the most common victims being young children. If you own a dog, there are necessary steps you must take to ensure that you and everyone around you is safe in the presence of your canine companion.

Dogs are born with natural instincts, and they can and will use them if necessary. In certain instances, even the owner could be a victim. Any breed of dog will attack if it has been provoked or perceives a threat, no matter their gender or size. If bitten, the wound could potentially become infected. Act quickly, irrigate the wound, and seek medical attention. If legal counsel is necessary, contact them as well.

Spaying or neutering is another way to curb a dog’s aggression, but easier and less invasive practices should be tried first, such as regular exercise and obedience training. It is also recommended to put the dog in social situations from a young age. This way, the dog will be more comfortable around other people and animals.

To learn more on how to prevent your dog from biting others, please see the accompanying guide created by Van Sant Law.

Infographic courtesy of Van Sant Law, home to Atlanta’s injury attorneys