In many instances, dogs are lovable creatures and we seldom see them as a threat to us. However, dog bites do occur for a number of reasons. For instance, your puppy may be nipping as it is in the teething stage. A more dreaded scenario is that stray dogs can get aggravated and attack bystanders. One of the major concerns of being bitten by a dog is the high level of bacteria in its saliva. When you are first aid trained, you will know how to evaluate the severity of an injury as well as act accordingly in a calm manner. Here’s what you need to know about dog bites:

How does a dog bite?

Dogs can bite in a number of ways but in a typical case, the dog will use its front teeth to grasp the flesh area and bite down. The remaining teeth are used to tug at the surrounding skin as well. Oftentimes, a puncture wound or deep hole in the victim’s skin is to be expected. Other minor injuries such as abrasions and scrapes are possible as well. The most common bite zones for adults are the feet, arms, legs and hands. For children, they tend to get bitten in the facial area which includes the nose, cheeks and lips.

Treating minor dog bites


In most cases, dog bites cause minor injuries that can be treated at home when you follow these basic first aid procedures:

• Persistent and direct pressure must be applied to the wound while you prepare to clean it

• The wound has to undergo thorough cleansing. You may cleanse it with mild soap and let it run under lukewarm water

• A combination of a sterile bandage and some antibiotic ointment can be used to reduce the risk of infection

• If you noticed that the injury is a bleeding wound, it’s a good sign. Let it bleed so that the flowing blood can prevent bacteria from entering the body

• Advil or ibuprofen can be used to relief pain and reduce inflammation

• You should proceed to seek medical advice, unless you’re sure the bite is very minor

When the dog draws blood…

If the above happens, a tetanus shot is needed in most cases. If the wound appears deep or profound, it is pertinent that you seek professional medical treatment. Seeing a doctor is a must when you are bitten on a sensitive area of your body. Some dogs can carry a wide range of diseases if they are not regularly treated by a veterinarian.

What you can do when the bite appears infected

When a bite becomes infected, you may experience the following symptoms:

• High fevers and involuntary shivers• Swelling and redness around the affected area• Pus or fluid seeping from the wound• Severe pain around the bite area• Swollen lymph glands

You should always seek medical help at the first sign of infection to prevent the symptoms from worsening. You will also want to prevent sepsis or blood poisoning from occurring at all costs.

Undergoing first aid training will help you to be prepared for such instances, so why not take up a first aid course and gain life skills that can be critical to your life or your loved ones’ lives today?