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It's summertime in California: Beware of dogs

Californians love spending time outdoors in the summer.

Concerts in the park. Bike rides. Long after-dinner walks around the neighborhood.

But when you encounter the neighborhood dogs on that walk, be careful.

As we're out and about more during the summer, we see more dogs. And summer isn't exactly a dog's favorite season.

In fact, pets tend to have more stresses in the summer. It's hot and noisy, they're more dehydrated and there are lots of people around to bother them.

Just how can you avoid being bitten this summer?

  • Take extra caution around unfamiliar dogs.
  • When approaching a dog who doesn't know you, walk slowly and stop to let the dog sniff your hand. Always ask the dog's owner if you can approach.
  • Keep away from dogs that look scared.
  • Don't panic around dogs or run away.
  • If you are approached by an unfamiliar dog, stay still. Don't run away and avoid making direct eye contact.
  • Don't bother a dog that is sleeping, eating or with its puppies.
  • If a dog knocks you over, roll up into a ball and stay still. Before you do so, cover your neck and ears with your arms and hands. Remain calm and avoid eye contact.

If you are bitten by a dog, it is crucial to wash the wound with running water and soap immediately. If the bite has broken through more than the top layer of skin, if the bleeding is heavy or if you suspect damage to the bones, tendons or ligaments, head to the emergency room.

Dog bites can be more than just little pecks. They can have serious repercussions. If you have been bitten and have medical bills or face future medical treatment, contact a personal injury attorney for help in recouping your costs.

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