4 Things You Must Do Immediately After A Dog Bite

No matter how playful or how ‘safe’ and domesticated a dog may seem, you never know when they’re bound to attack. It’s not so much a problem if the dog is yours, because you’re aware of the dog’s temperament and behavior. The tricky part comes when you’re out and about in public, or, perhaps, when you’re in someone else’s home and they’ve got a dog.

Because the dog is unfamiliar with you, you’ve got to be a lot more cautious. The dog can be adjusting to your presence, and you just never know when they’re going to bite. This is something you can’t control, but you can control the aftermath. If you have, or you’re with someone who’d just been bitten by a dog, act right away.

mean dog with teeth

If a dog bites you, be sure to do these things immediately:

  1. Wash The Wound

Right after the dog bite, wash the wound as soon as possible. If you can’t do this yourself, then ask help from whoever is with you.

Washing the wound right away can prevent bacteria from building up, lest an infection may happen. It’s as simple as washing it with soap and water, even before you go to the hospital. On your way to the emergency room or while waiting for the medics to come, you can also control the bleeding by wrapping it with a clean cloth.

Once you reach the hospital, your bite will be classified according to these levels:

  • Level 1. The dog’s teeth weren’t able to touch the skin.
  • Level 2. The dog’s teeth touched, but wasn’t able to break through the skin.
  • Level 3. There’s a maximum of four shallow puncture wounds on the skin.
  • Level 4. There’s at least one serious and deep puncture wound.
  • Level 5. There are multiple deep puncture wounds and bites.
  1. Call A Lawyer

If the dog bite you experienced was due to another person’s dog, you may also need to seek legal help from dog bite lawyers in Michigan or from your locality. You’re entitled to compensation for the expenses you incurred from your dog bite. All the more is this pressing if the dog bite was serious and you’re unable to work for a couple of days, for instance.

Depending on who you’re dealing with, there can also be some dog owners who may try to evade responsibility. This isn’t what you’ll want to happen to your case. If you’re wrongfully hurt, then don’t sit on your right to proper compensation.

  1. See A Doctor

Even if the bite only seems minor, or that you’re able to control the bleeding by yourself, it doesn’t hurt to go and see a doctor. 

Your doctor can prescribe you with the right medication and treatment for the dog bite. Remember that’s an open wound, and if you don’t give it proper attention, that’s when bacteria can seep through. 

Some of the severe complications that can arise if your dog bite isn’t given proper attention include:

  • Infection, through the bacteria living in the dog’s mouth, like staphylococcus and Pasteurella
  • Nerve and muscle damage
  • Rabies
  • Broken bones

If the wound itself is deep, your doctor may also send you in for sutures to close the wound. This is usually a procedure that can be done at the emergency room, so it’s not a major surgery.

Most importantly, once you’re cleared to go home, don’t neglect the treatment prescribed to you by the doctor. Be diligent with following the treatment plan, so you can heal better and faster from the dog bite.

dog bite on hand

  1. Ask For The Dog’s Vaccination Records

If you’re lucky, the dog that bit you is up-to-date with your vaccination records. The situation also becomes problematic if this isn’t the case. The most important, for instance, are rabies vaccinations.

So, be sure to ask about the dog’s vaccination records. That way, once you’re in the emergency room of the hospital, you can be given the proper preventive injections, just in case the dog that bit you wasn’t yet fully vaccinated.

The two most common shots you may be given are the tetanus shot and the anti-rabies injection.


All these considered, the most important thing for you to remember is that right as soon as the dog bite happens, your main goal should be to prevent an infection. Clean it up right away, and seek medical help if needed. Depending on the severity of the bite and its effects, you may also be able to claim for compensation, especially for the expenses relating towards your care and medical expenses. If the dog’s owner has been negligent with the care of the dog, then this can also serve as a lesson for them to be more mindful about their dog and their behavior towards others.

Larry Atkins

Larry Atkins is a legal representative. He shares legal advice online through guest posting. Larry enjoys swimming and playing basketball. He also loves traveling and extreme outdoor activities. He has a bulldog named Finch.

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