Who doesn’t love to play with a dog and have a little fun with man’s best friend? Dogs can be so engaging and friendly that it is sometimes hard to believe that they are capable of biting someone, especially someone that they are familiar with, but it does happen. The truth is that a New Haven dog bite injury is not as uncommon as you might think and when something like that does happen it can be jarring for the individual involved and can even cause lasting, long-term injury.
There are so many times when it is ok to approach a dog and pet her/him to make the dog feel loved and appreciated, but there are also times when a dog would not appreciate being bothered. When a dog is napping for instance, might be a bad time for her/him to be disturbed. In the event that a dog is interacting with another dog, you may not want to approach her/him as the dog might be busy and not want to be bothered.
One of the times that it is absolutely, 100% not OK to approach a dog is when she/he is eating. You will want to wait until the meal is completed and the dog has had the opportunity to digest a little bit before you approach her/him. Why is it so important to let a dog eat her/his food in peace and not be bothered until the meal is long past in the dog’s mind?
1.) Food guarding. A function of the dog’s biology, this protective nature over her/his food comes from when dogs were in the wild and it’s ancestors would have to fight for their food. Now that dogs are domesticated they remain protective of their food and can become aggressive if they feel their food is being threatened in any way. This can be true even with a dog’s owner that she/he is completely familiar and comfortable with.
2.) Stress. You might not think that an animal would be stressed when eating and you’d be right, but what does happen is a dog will be in a vulnerable state while focusing on her/his food and if approached and disturbed she/he can become stressed and anxious which can lead to behavioral or health problems.
3.) Safety. If a dog is approached while she/he is eating she/he may drop the food or become so startled that she/he begins choking on the food. Not only can this become a hazard for the animal and cause her/him to become ill, it may also cause her/him to become aggressive toward the person who startled her/him when eating the food. This can lead to an aggressive stance by the dog and in some cases biting or scratching.
It may not seem like a big thing to try to avoid a dog when she/he is eating, but it can be quite troubling and lead to a New Haven dog bite injury. In the event that this were to happen, you should seek medical attention right away, even if you don’t believe the bite is serious enough. Even the smallest dog bite can lead to major problems if left untreated. You will need to see someone to help you treat your injury and you should document your injury so you have proof of the damage that the dog inflicted.
Connecticut is a strict liability state for dog bites and you may need someone who has experience in working on this type of situation. Contact our office and one of our experienced attorneys will review your situation and work with you to protect your long-term interests.