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3 tips to help avoid a dog bite

You go jogging every other day, and you've seen plenty of dogs off their leashes in and around your neighborhood. You're always a bit worried that one is going to charge you and attack. Every time one looks up or starts trotting over, you get a bit nervous and start wondering what you can do to keep from getting bitten.

Below are three critical tips from the Humane Society. They may not prevent all bites, but they can help.

1. Understand the body language.

You can often tell if the dog may bite long before it does. Signs of stress can include a tense body, yawning, pulling the ears back or even slowly backing away from you, while watching you. If you ignore these signs, you may get too close, and that's when a bite happens.

2. Do not run and yell.

You have to suppress your instincts if the dog comes at you. Don't yell or scream. Don't try to outrun the dog and flee. These things can just make the dog more riled up. Try to stay calm. Keep your hands down and slowly back away. Don't turn your back on the dog, but don't make eye contact.

3. Prepare something to give the dog.

If the dog lunges and snaps at you, you can sometimes "feed" it an item that you're holding. For instance, perhaps you're running with a light jacket in your hand since you took it off after the first mile. The dog may then attack the jacket while you back away, unharmed.

If the dog still bites you, it's likely that you'll need immediate medical care. Be sure you know if you have a right to financial compensation to cover that cost.

Source: Humane Society, "How to Avoid a Dog Bite," accessed Sep. 08, 2017

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