The last days of the summer or the hottest days of summer in the month of August are also known as the “dog days of summer.” This is also the time the year when we see a heightened risk of dog attacks and dog bite injuries. There is no scientific evidence that an increase in temperatures makes dogs aggressive. However, we do see that hot weather has an impact on dog bite numbers. Also, with long summer days and children out of school, more people try to take advantage of the warm weather and spend more time outdoors. This creates more opportunities for dog attacks and dog bites to occur.
Increased Dog Attacks in the Summer
Let’s take a closer look at some of the factors that increase the incidence of dog attacks and dog bites during the summer:
- More people and dogs outdoors: During the warmer months, it is more common to see people engaged in outdoor activities. We see that a number of dog attacks or dog bites happen outdoors such as on the owner’s property or when the dog breaks loose or escapes from the owner’s property and roams the streets. Dog attacks and dog bites also occur in parks, beaches and other outdoor areas where people bring their pets for a walk during the summer.
- Type of clothing worn: In addition, the clothing that people wear during the summer also has an impact on the severe injuries they tend to suffer. For example, a person who wears thick, long pants and a winter jacket when it’s cold outside may not suffer the same serious dog bite injuries as he or she does in the summer while wearing shorts and a t-shirt.
- Children out of school: One of the most critical factors that lead to increased dog attacks in the summer is the fact that children tend to out of school and out playing on neighborhood streets or parks. So, they are more exposed to dog bites. It is also important to note that children suffer disproportionately more severe injuries in dog attacks than adults. About 450,000 children are taken to emergency rooms for treatment after a dog bite and about half of them end up needing reconstructive surgery, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Preventing Summer Dog Attacks
There are several steps dog owners can take to prevent dog attacks and dog bite injuries in the summer:
- Spay or neuter your dog.
- Socialize your dog. Introduce your pet to many different situations, people and dogs. This could help reduce your dog’s anxiety, which usually causes it to snap or bite.
- Keep your dog restrained and when in public, use a leash. Be sure that your yard is secure and take care your dog doesn’t escape when you open doors or gates.
- Dog training can help keep your pet under control.
- Do not put your pet in a high stress situation such as loud noises or large crowds.
- Help your pet stay cool. Summer temperatures could increase your dog’s irritability.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog attack, an experienced Rhode Island dog bite lawyer can help you better understand your legal rights and options. You may be able to seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, cost of cosmetic surgery, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Call us at 1-800-992-6878 for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.