The city of New Haven is full of well meaning and happy dogs that go about their day each and every day just looking for a friendly face to tell them they are a “good boy.” The truth is though, that the summer months are the three months of the year when New Haven dog bite injuries increase. Nationally the trend is similar and in fact, over half of all dog bites in any given year often occur in the summer months.
Why is this trend happening? Are dogs more aggressive or prone to biting more often in the summer months? The answer to that is complicated and not quite as simple as yes or no. There are actually quite a few reasons for the rise in dog bite injuries in the summer months. Some reasons are unavoidable and others can be addressed through vigilance of an owner and strangers passing by.
What are the factors that are causing dog bites to increase in the summer months?
1.) Heat. There’s a reason they call them the dog days of summer because you and your pooch may be getting so hot that the days get unbearable. Just like humans get irritable in hot weather, so to do dogs. The moods of dogs change with the weather and the heat is one factor that really affects a dog’s mood in a bad way. There is nothing we can do about the heat except make sure your dog gets enough breaks to catch her/his breath on a walk and shorten walks if necessary.
2.) There are simply more dogs out and about in the summer months. With larger numbers of people out walking their dogs for greater periods of time it stands to reason that there might be more incidences of dog bite injuries as there is more opportunity for this to occur. In the colder months there are fewer people who take their dogs for long walks which leads to less interactions between dogs and strangers and in turn leads to fewer bites.
3.) There are more people out and about. This goes hand in hand with the above point in that there are more people out and therefore there are more dog/stranger interactions that could lead to dog bite injuries. These two points are where you can make a difference. If you’re a stranger that may be accustomed to approaching a dog, you should get permission from the dog’s owner and then approach it with care. If you are the owner you should try to avoid too many interactions for your dog in one day so as to not over stress her/him.
New Haven dog bite injuries do increase in the summer months, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are steps we can all take to make sure our interactions with dogs are safe and free from any sudden or unfamiliar situations so they do not feel the need to protect themselves or their owners.
If you do find yourself in a situation where you are injured due to an interaction with a dog our attorneys are experienced in helping injured persons protect their long-term interests. Contact our office and one of our attorneys will work with you to review the details of your situation.