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How Service Workers Can Avoid Dog Bites In Other People’s Homes
If your work takes you to a lot of individual homes, you’ve probably encountered your fair share of pets.
Whether you’re delivering mail or fixing a toilet, you don’t know what animals are going to be in or around the property until you’re actually there.
Some dogs are friendly and probably won’t ever cause you any problems. However, some pets may be aggressive or defensive, and you never know for sure which way it’s going to be.
The dangers of dog bites are serious and include infection, rabies, and possibly even permanent damage to your body.
Use this helpful guide and take some extra precautions to avoid being bitten. It shouldn’t be your responsibility to avoid dangerous dogs when you’re working at someone’s home, but no one else is going to make your safety a priority.
Avoid Dog Bites – Stay Calm
Don’t panic when you encounter an unfamiliar dog. If you run or shout, the dog may assume you are a threat. Keep walking or stand still until the dog moves on.
If a dog approaches you, try to firmly and calmly say “no” or tell the dog to go home. If the dog has had any training, a stern command can be effective.
Leave Animals Alone
Even if a dog is restrained or it seems very friendly, you should steer clear. Don’t approach it or give it any reason to be concerned about you. Engaging the dog means taking a risk.
Watch the dog carefully but do not make eye contact. Try to stand still or walk calmly away while observing the dog carefully with your peripheral vision
If a dog actually attacks you, the most important thing to do is to cover your ears, neck, and head and put something between you and the animal. If you’re worried about an attack, be prepared to getaway.
You might also want to keep pepper spray or some kind of equivalent with you as a way to fend off a dog attack in an emergency.
Take Care of Your Injuries
If you know the risks of dog bites and the possible infections they can cause, you know that proper injury care is absolutely essential.
Hopefully, if you practice dog bite prevention you’ll never have to worry about actually dealing with a dog bite, but it’s important to know what to do if and when it happens.
Wash the injury and disinfect it once you’re somewhere safe, and consider seeking medical care. Even if it’s a minor bite, you should get medical attention if it shows signs of infection.
You’ll also need a rabies vaccination unless the dog’s owner can prove the dog was vaccinated.
Advocate for Yourself
One of the best ways to avoid dog bites is to speak up for your safety when you are concerned.
If you’re delivering packages, leave a note or have your company send a message warning them and asking them to restrain the dog when deliveries are made in the future.
If your visit is scheduled in advance, your company can ask the owner to put their dog away.
If you’re a contractor coming to work on something in the house, you should feel free to ask the owner to close their dogs somewhere away from where you’re working. It’s up to you to make your safety a priority.
If you’ve already suffered from a dog bite, consider contacting a dog bite lawyer to help you get the compensation you deserve.