Hey friends! Apologies for the radio silence over the past week. I had started working on some fun new content for the blog last week but then in true life fashion, the unexpected happened. My sweet pup Sheba was attacked by an off-leash pitbull. She’s going to be ok, but it was a pretty traumatizing event and because of it, I’ve understandably been away from the computer and giving her lots of extra TLC as she recovers.
This was the first time I’ve ever had to deal with something like this, and I really hope that none of you have or will have to ever. It’s awful! But just in case, I thought it’d be helpful to share some insights on what to do when your dog is attacked.
Comfort Your Pup + Evaluate
Right after an attack, it’s important to comfort your pup and evaluate them. Are there any visible wounds or bleeding? If so, you’ll want to take them to a vet ASAP to let the doctors do a more extensive check, which may include x-rays and/or surgery. Of course, they’ll come to you with the full report before starting any treatment.
Report the Incident
The first call you want to make (after getting your pup to safety of course) is to animal control to file a complaint. If it’s a first-time offense, the complaint will be on-file, should anything happen with that same animal in the future. Animal control should also come out to evaluate the dog and take any further action if necessary. Sometimes this means putting the dog in quarantine, requiring a fence at the home, posting “dangerous dog” signs, and in extreme situations (more likely if a repeat offender) removed from the home and/or put down.
When reporting, be sure to have as many details as possible on hand. This includes the owner’s information (if known), address, dog description, and if you have any photos. If there are any witnesses around during the time of the attack, it’s also helpful to have their information too, if possible.
It’s also important to note that most cities/states have “leash laws,” where dogs are required by law to be on a leash when outside of the house. And if a dog attacks yours (especially off-leash), the owner is legally responsible to pay for any medical/vet bills.
Give Lots of TLC
Just like humans, dogs can get PTSD. And YES they do remember incidents like these. Take it slow when getting back into your routines and be mindful that your pup might show signs of fear and it could take some time for them to feel comfortable around other dogs or go back to a place where the attack happened.
Carry a Protective Tool
This comes into play post-attack when you’re ready to go back into the neighborhood/out for walks. We’re definitely not there yet, but my vet recommended carrying an air horn on walks and blasting it at any dog that comes up to attack. Walking sticks are also really great to have so you can use it to put some space between you/your dog and the attacking dog, if needed. It’s definitely a nuisance to have to carry these extra things around, but honestly, if it protects you and/or your pup, it’s totally worth it.
I know so many of you are big fans of Sheba and love when she makes an appearance on the blog or Instagram. And know that despite the trauma of the attack and her poor front leg injuries, she’s still our happy, smiling girl, and is on the road to recovery!