While dogs can add lots of joy to your life, they can also cause serious injuries when their owners are negligent. Owning a dog is a big responsibility, and pet owners must ensure their dogs are properly socialized and under their control.
In the event a dog bites you, there are certain things you should do immediately. Even a seemingly minor injury can lead to more serious health effects, so you must take these steps after a dog bite.
Try to stop the bleeding
Stemming the bleed is the first step you must take after a dog bite. Take a clean cloth or sterile piece of gauze and apply it to the area. Apply pressure and wait for the bleeding to stop. If you cannot stop the bleeding on your own, seek out emergency medical services immediately for assistance.
Make sure the wound is clean
Once the bleeding has stopped, the next step is to clean the wound. Apply soap to the area and allow tap water to run over it for about five minutes. Gently dry the wound, then apply over-the-counter antibiotic ointment. Next, take a sterile bandage and affix it firmly to your skin to prevent bacteria from affecting the injury.
Visit a doctor for evaluation
In addition to first-aid applied at home, all dog bites require professional medical assessment. Your doctor will remove the bandage to assess the wound. They will also ask about the date of your last tetanus shot, and possibly recommend a booster.
Dog bites always carry of risk of infection, so your doctor may prescribe antibiotic medication. You should also inspect the wounds over the next few days. Look for redness, swelling, and worsening pain, and report any changes to your doctor immediately.