What To Do If A Dog Bites You And Draws Blood?

This article will be our first article where we combine medical and training topics on what to dow when a dog bites you, and what if he draws blood. However, a lot of times, I see posts that go like this, “Hey, my dog bit me, what should I do? Does he have Rabies? Should I put him down?” and the tremendous amount of wrong and unscientific-based answers are terrifying.

What To Do If A Dog Bites You And Draws Blood?

  1. Get the bacteria out ASAP
  2. Wash the wound as quickly as possible
  3. Wait until the bleeding stops
  4. Start cleaning the wound with an antibiotic cream
  5. wrap it in a bandage
  6. consult your doctor for a rabies vaccination

And as I will be neutral in this post, I have to say that Rabies in humans or other viruses that arises from Dog bites are common (in some countries), and they can cause severe damages to humans that might end to death.

So, our schema today is that we will have two parts of this article. The first part about the medical advice that you should follow when a dog bites you. The second one is the training you should provide to your dog (assuming that your dog is the dog who bit you)

What to do when a dog bites you

First of all, we have to look at the dog who bit us. We have two scenarios here that we might follow:

A Vaccinated Dog Bit You

In this case, I can say that it’s not as dangerous as the following one, especially if that’s your dog who bit you. What you need to take care of, though, is preventing the bacteria from spreading inside that wound to make sure that you’re safe. So, you have to follow the procedures here:

  • Get the bacteria out: You have to know that the dog’s mouth is full of bacteria that enter your body whenever a dog bites you. So whenever a dog bites you, start pushing firmly on the wound to let the blood get out. This will help in cleaning your blood of any bacteria. Make sure you’re doing this ASAP because you wouldn’t want to wait until the bacteria flows in your blood.
  • Wash the wound while the blood is pouring out of it.
  • Wait until the bleeding has stopped.
  • Start cleaning the wound using any antibiotic cream.
  • Wrap it with a bandage.

Your main concern here would be any infection bacteria that you might have received from the bite. There is no need to panic or consult your doctor immediately if you don’t feel heat or swelling coming out of the wound. However, you would need to run to your doctor if you noticed any weird actions happening in the area of the injury like redness, swelling, fever, etc.

You don’t need to worry about taking a Rabies shot since the dog that has bitten you is vaccinated. However, I do recommend taking one if you’re not sure if the dog was vaccinated or not (please don’t leave a chance for any possible virus/disease and consult your doctor).

Non-Vaccinated Dog Bit You

Here comes the main concern that should drive you crazy if ever happened to you. Now, if you happen to be bitten by a stray dog or a dog that has never taken a Rabies Vaccination, you must take a Rabies Vaccination For Humans.

However, let me calm you, Rabies isn’t popular in the Western countries anymore, according to CDC, only 1 to 3 cases are Reported Annually in the US, which gives us relief. If you do live in one of the developing countries where there’s not a great concern about health and hygiene, then chances that a dog can carry Rabies are high. As I mentioned earlier, we don’t give any virus a chance, so better take a Rabies Vaccination, which is effective for a year after following the previous steps we have mentioned.

What to do to your dog if he bit you

Now, as I mentioned, I will be going through the training process because, after all, this is a dog blog.

Two behaviors bother any trainer a lot:

  1. Dog Humping its owner
  2. Dog biting its owner

The first one we have already covered in our post about How to Stop Dog Humping here and the second will be today’s topic.

Now, if you ever asked any trainer what’s the worst thing you can ever face, his answer will be a dog biting his owner. That means there’s a severe bonding problem between them, and to identify the reason behind this biting is hard. We have MANY reasons because of them a dog may bite his owner and I will try to mention the most important and the most popular.

Reasons Why a Dog Bites its Owner

Now, you need to know that there’s a difference between an aggressive dog who bites anyone and a dog that bites his owner only (the latter is more concerning by the way). We are going to concentrate on the latter. I am not also talking about a teething puppy. Here are some of the possible reasons why a dog might bite its owner:

  • Resource Guarding
  • Anxiety/Stress
  • Playful Bite
  • Taking the lead
  • Reaction to Abusing
  • Frustration
  • Pain

By the way, I have just said 90% of all the causes for misbehavioral dogs. Now, I will go through them one by one.

Resource Guarding

Resource Guarding is familiar with many dogs, especially those who eat fewer meals than what they should eat. I have faced it a lot, actually, and it’s effortless to deal with it.

Resource Guarding is when a dog tries to protect his resources like food, toys, treats, bed, objects, etc.
Anything that belongs to a dog to be more specific. This protection will cause him to bark, growl, or bite anyone who comes close to his property. It’s a form of distrust and insecurity in dogs.

What can cause resource guarding problems?
Some times dogs can be born with it, and sometimes they develop it over time when the owners don’t give them enough food or when you take away their toys without playing.

Treating resource guarding

Develop trust with your dog. That’s the best advice I can give today. This development can be done when you start giving your dog more space and start giving the dog what it needs. For example, if it growls over its toys. What you can do is start getting some toys and play with him instead of just tossing them on the ground. When you want to pick them up and put them in a box, don’t do it in front of his eyes, like you didn’t touch them at all.
Doing this will develop trust between the dog and you, where he knows that you don’t want to take his toys away from him.

Playful Bite

That’s not a big deal actually, and you should never worry if your dog bit you during playing. I can remember that Kira bit me a lot during playing, it’s not a big deal. She sometimes can’t see my hand correctly when we’re playing tug of war and misplaces her mouth.

However, what you can do is terminate the game when this happens so that the dog pays more attention next time — no scolding or hitting. Just walk away, telling him that this playing session is over now.

Taking the lead

This one is harmful and a concerning one (really concerning). Taking the lead is actually when a dog thinks he is in a better position in the house than another owner. I can understand that giving an example on that won’t help a lot and that you need to watch it yourself, so I have embedded that video that can demonstrate what I mean clearly.

The reason for Diesel’s behavior is quite apparent that it’s a leadership problem. He thinks he is in a better position than the housewife, so he started acting like I sit wherever I want, and you can never tell me not to!

Dealing with this problem requires a professional trainer that can do it because there has to be a lot of work done to re-arrange the positions in the house.

Reaction to Abusing

You have gone onto the Internet, searched for the best ways to train your dog, and found this fantastic tutorial that says whenever your dog doesn’t hear what you say, start hitting him.

Fun Fact: Before I started to learn how to train a dog professionally, I used some of these techniques on Kira, and in one week, she began to hate me, bite me, run away from me, and never listen to me.

Hitting a dog or using an abusive training method is a popular cause for bad behaviors. The idea that an owner must be the pack leader and that all dogs must show respect and like never tell him “No” isn’t really helpful at all.

Training is based on Mutual Respect between you and your dog, where each part understands the needs of the other. It’s built on the trust you two build together, and that mustn’t be broken ever.

If your dog started biting when you hit him or yell at him, then treating this problem is simple. STOP DOING SO! and exchange the training with more advanced training based on treats. You will see the difference in days

Frustration

This problem is not common. However, I will mention it. Not all dogs accept the presence of young children playing with their tails or their mouths, and some of them will react violently to such behaviors. However, this can be a problem with the aggressive breeds, but it rarely happens in the popular breeds like Golden Retrievers or German Shepherds.

If you found that this might be a problem, that the dog bites you when you start grabbing his tail or holding his hand, then you have to train him to accept these behaviors by grabbing his hand and giving him a treat as long as you keep grabbing it. He will get used to this behavior in a day or two.

Pain

This is not concerning at all. Some dogs do bite when they’re in pain.

My dog Kira was poisoned a week ago, and I was sitting by her side, giving her medicine and taking care of her. When she started to get better, she started biting me when I give her medicine because she was in pain. Once the pain has been removed, the dog will stop biting.

A temporary solution will be muzzling your dog.

Anxiety/Stress.

I have left this one to the end because this is wide and complicated. For this reason, you have to determine why your dog is anxious, is it because of boredom? Separation Anxiety? Fear?

The reasons for the dog’s stress are vast and must be analyzed carefully to determine the exact cause and treating this exact problem.

Conclusion

Dog biting is sometimes concerning and should be handled well for humans and dogs. Don’t leave a wounded part of your body without treatment, and don’t leave your aggressive dog without training. It’s a two-sided equation that must be handled gently on both sides.

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Author: Soheir MaherHi, I am Soheir. I have always been passionate about dogs. My first dog was Leo who was a wonderful Golden Retriever after that I got Kira another Golden Retriever who is wonderful too. My passion for dogs made me read a lot about them. Training them personally made me become an expert in everything related to them, that's why my writing is always a mix of experience and science. My writing about dogs isn't for the sake of earning a living but instead, for the sake of benefiting people around the world.