Do’s and Don’ts After A Dog Bite

Reviewed By Tom •  Updated: 02/10/23 •  4 min read
The contents of the website, such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained on this site (“Content”) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase this item or service, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain our own.

Do's and Don'ts After A Dog Bite

Online Veterinary 24/7
Chat With A Veterinarian Online

Connect with a verified veterinarian in minutes. Licensed vets are available 24/7 to answer your questions. No need to worry about your furry family member.

Whether you are a dog lover or not, you must agree that most dogs are unpredictable. You may be minding your business walking down the street, and suddenly out of nowhere, you get bitten by a dog. It is a huge possibility and a common occurrence you need to prepare yourself for.

You may assume they are on their best behavior, which they generally are, but the possibility of getting bitten is always scary. So here is everything you need to remember in case of a dog bite.

Can you file a lawsuit in case of a dog bite?

A dog bite is a personal injury, considering the victim had no part to play in causing the unfortunate accident. In that scenario, the dog owner would be considered at fault, as it is their duty to ensure their pet causes no harm to anyone. If it does, they are liable to pay for damages if the victim files a dog bite lawsuit.

The dog owner is not liable if the victim is found trespassing or provoking the dog, only if it’s proven. If the victim was innocent when the situation arose, the owner is liable to pay for damages as compensation for the injury and medical costs borne by the victim. Thus, if you find the dog owner liable in your situation, hire a dog bite attorney.

Thoroughly wash the wound

The immediate step that you need to take after getting bitten by a dog is to wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water. It minimizes the chances of any infection. Remember to use a mild soap and rinse the wound thoroughly. It is a crucial step to ensure the dog bite doesn’t lead to complications. Wash it for at least 5-10 minutes.

Avoid germs and dirt

Once you have washed the affected area, it is time for you to stop the bleeding, if there’s any. But remember to use a clean bandage or cloth. You need to ensure the affected area is always covered and doesn’t get in contact with any germ, bacteria, or dirt, as it can cause an infection. It is crucial to prevent the wound from attracting germs to avoid any chance of complication and infection.

Piece of Caution: Do not go after the dog

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but it is a common mistake people often make in case of a dog bite. Instead of going after the dog, stay put on the scene and collect the necessary evidence. Ask around the neighborhood if someone has witnessed the incident. Also, look for CCTV cameras. If you are planning to go ahead with a personal injury claim, then this information will strengthen your claim. If you are in a state of shock, it is better to call a friend or family member, so someone can take you to the hospital or ensure your safety.

Seek medical help immediately

When a situation like this occurs, you would have no idea about the dog’s vaccination history. That is why you must immediately seek medical help. Visiting the hospital should be your first and foremost step to avoid any health emergency. Washing the wound with water and soap will minimize the infection risk. But if there is a punctured wound, it is better to get help from a professional.

A professional can gauge the injury’s severity and take the necessary step for fast recovery. Meanwhile, you must document your injuries using your phone’s camera.

Do not make any assumptions

After getting bitten by a dog, making assumptions about the dog being healthy or fully vaccinated would be very wrong unless you are aware of the dog’s medical history. Remain calm and composed, and contact the owner, but do not assume that the owner would be liable for any damage or injury.

Whether you should go ahead with a personal injury claim depends on your responsibility in the matter. That is why it would be wrong to make an assumption without complete information and assessment of the situation. So, make the best out of the situation by keeping an open mind and collecting information as you move forward. Consult a dog bite attorney to have a better understanding of your next step.


Dogs are wonderful animals, but some unfortunate events can make them hostile and irritated. That is why it is always better to keep your distance from dogs that are strangers or don’t seem friendly. Always remain calm and collected, and remember what needs to be done and what’s not.

(Visited 27 times, 1 visits today)
Online Veterinary 24/7
Chat With A Veterinarian Online

Connect with a verified veterinarian in minutes. Licensed vets are available 24/7 to answer your questions. No need to worry about your furry family member.


Tom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!