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How dog owners can be negligent

The numbers on dog bites from the Florida Department of Health are not exactly uplifting. For example, more than 600 Floridians visit the hospital every year due to dog bites, and about two Floridians die from dog bite injuries per year.

Here is an overview on why some of these bites occur and the role owner negligence plays:

Letting a dog off leash

About one-third of reported dog bites occurred from a dog that was off its leash and off its owner's property. This can happen for several reasons. For example, it could be Halloween, with the dog's owner opening and closing the front door often and the dog darting out at some point. It could also be that the owner takes the dog out and does not use a leash.

Not treating a sick or hurt dog

A sick or injured dog is more likely to bite. Thus, if a dog's owner knew it was injured and did nothing, not even warning you about the injury, that could be negligence.

Not supervising play with a child

Children ages 1 to 9 are the most prone to dog bites. This makes sense, as young children are excitable and can make noises that scare dogs. Similarly, children may be too rough when trying to pet a dog or play with it. One way to minimize the risk of a dog biting a child is to have adult supervision. However, this does not always happen. Even in the best of situations and with the best of owners, a dog bite can occur. For example, take a 5-year-old nephew who adores his uncle's dog and has played with it numerous times before. The uncle might leave the child alone with the dog for a few moments to prepare a meal and the child, not realizing he is being too rough, could end up being bitten and seriously hurt.

Keeping a dog known to bite

If a dog's owner knows that the dog bites and has even hurt others in the past, that is a problem if the dog ends up injuring someone else.

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