The Dog Days of Summer: Dog Aggression in the Heat

There is always a risk that any dog could bite under the right circumstances. However, is there an increased risk of being bitten in the summer? Are dogs more aggressive when the weather is warmer?

Why Are Dog Bites More Common in Summer?

According to Psychology Today, there is a relationship between increased acts of violence and the temperature for humans. Studies have shown that violent crime rates rise in the summer months by as much as 35 percent.

What is true for humans also seems true for dogs. According to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, more than half of the 4,611 of the reported dog bites in the city in one recent year occurred in the summer. However, the secondary factors associated with the warm summer months may contribute much more to the increase in dog bites.

One such factor is that warm weather encourages more people to venture outside. Since most dog attacks occur outside in parks, playgrounds, and neighborhood streets, more people and dogs outside mean an increased risk of dangerous encounters.

Similarly, during the summer months, children are out of school. Unlike the other seasons when children are in school or the weather doesn’t permit play outdoors, many children spend a great deal of time outside in the summer, which makes it more likely they will encounter an aggressive dog.

Children are much more likely to be dog bite victims than adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This may be because children are far less adept at recognizing the signs of a distressed or aggressive animal than adults. Due to their small size, children are also an easier target for aggressive dogs.

Most dogs bite because they feel threatened or uncomfortable. During the summer, when people are having barbecues and pool parties, and dogs are interacting with new people in new situations, they are more likely to lash out as a result.

What to Do If a Dog Bites You? Call a SC Personal Injury Lawyer

If a dog bites you or someone you know, you should take the following steps:

  • Protect yourself through any means possible from further attack.
  • Seek emergency medical treatment if necessary.
  • Apply pressure to bleeding wounds.
  • Wash less severe wounds with soap and water.
  • Apply antibiotic cream to minor wounds.
  • See a medical professional for a thorough exam.
  • Speak to a dog bite lawyer to find out if you can recover compensation

Dog bites can be painful and dangerous, even when they aren’t severe. Do not neglect to see a doctor if you suspect your wound is infected.

How Do I Know If I Have a Dog Bite Case?

South Carolina law applies strict liability in dog bite cases. That means the person who owns or controls a dog is responsible for paying compensation when the dog attacks someone, regardless of whether the dog had a history aggression. Unlike some other states, South Carolina does not have a so-called “one bite rule” that requires victims to show that the owner knew or should have known about the dog’s aggressive tendencies.

The dog bite lawyers at Schiller & Hamilton have the experience you need on your side. Contact us by phone or online to schedule a free consultation with us today.

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