What to Do If Your Dog Gets Attacked on a Walk
When Dogs Attack Dogs
Nothing is more painful than waking up with your dog and going for a nice walk in the morning only to be attacked by a stray dog or an unsecured dog. Most of the time, these unprovoked dog attacks can lead to the maiming of the victim or even the death of the dog being attacked. Dog owners know the horror of seeing their dogs being mauled by another dog and not being able to do anything about it. In most of these dog attack cases, it is the large dog that attacks the smaller dog. Here are a few pointers I have gathered from my own experience and from those I know.
What to Do If Your Dog Is Being Attacked by Another Dog
1. Scope the Walk Zone
I always tell people prevention is better than cure. Before you decide on walking your dog, scope out the community and neighborhood for about a week. Get to know the streets a little and see if there are stray animals roaming the streets. Ascertain who has dogs nearby and how these dogs are kept. Dog owners should have proper retention areas to prevent their dogs from jumping or breaking down weak fences to attack people or other dogs. You cannot predict all eventualities because a stray dog may pop up from nowhere or an owner may not have leashed his dog and left the gate open. You can still reduce the odds by knowing the surroundings.
2. Release the Leash
Many times when dogs are being attacked by other dogs, the leash helps to keep the other dog which is being attacked in a useless position. The attacking dog has free movement while the leashed dog being attacked is restricted of its natural defensive instincts. If your dog is being mauled, release the leash so your dog can either run away or have a fighting chance. Once you let go off the leash, you can assist your dog by doing anything possible for the attacking dog to back off.
3. Always Have a Dog Whistle
A dog whistle can be the key to you saving your dog’s life against a dog attack or your dog being mauled to death by the attacking dog. Dogs can hear frequencies of a higher range compared to human ears. Dogs can typically detect sounds between 67-45,000 Hz, while humans can detect sounds between 64-23,000. In the upper frequencies of a dog's hearing range, the sounds can cause a dog irritation and discomfort. If your dog is being attacked and you have a high-frequency dog whistle, chances are you can stop or break up this attack by blowing this whistle. You will cause some discomfort for your own dog, but you may have just saved your dog’s life.
4. Pick Up Your Dog and Run to a Safe Area
If you can see the danger approaching (meaning dog(s) running towards you), you should pick up your dog before the impending danger reaches you. Secure yourself and your dog in a safe area such as a restaurant, a store, or even in someone’s yard. I wouldn’t advise you to try and pick up the dog while it is being attacked if you fear for your own self being attacked.
5. Get Help
If your dog is being attacked by another dog, shout for help and get as many people as possible to help you. Recruit several persons who are not afraid of dogs to form a tight circle around the animals. What this helps to do is limit the space for movement of the dog doing the attack. It may prevent the dog from thrashing the small dog back and forth which does more damage than a bite. The back and forth thrashing can rip internal organs and break a lot of bones in your small dog. If there is a collar on the dog which is doing the attack, grab the collar and restrain the dog’s head movement.
6. Use Physical Force as a Last Resort
Don’t be afraid to hit the other dog doing the attack, especially if you see that your dog is on the brink of death because of a throat hold or anything else. Get whatever you can to hit the attacking dog until it releases your dog and runs away.
Take Your Dog to the Nearest Veterinarian Immediately
After the melee, take your pet to the nearest veterinarian so the animal can be assessed for damages. There can be major injuries to the animal such as internal organ and tissue damage and broken limbs. Some dogs will require surgery to help correct injuries ascertained during the ordeal. After you rush your pet to the hospital, get in touch with the owner of the dog so that the right agreement will be made between both parties.
Assessing Your Dog's Well-Being After a Dog Attack
I have seen a small Shih-Tzu mauled by another neighbor's dog. They took the dog to the veterinarian to assess injuries. The dog had just a few bite marks and scrapes. The dog, however, went into a depressive state after the attack and simply never came back to being the spunky, happy little dog it was. The dog stopped eating, would lay around all day, and was in no mood to do anything.
They took the dog to the vet several times and to other vets outside of the community and didn't find anything physically wrong with the animal. The dog later died from what a dog psychiatrist called doggy depression. The dog's mind simply could not move past the ordeal and its mind began to shut down its body leading to death. You should monitor your dog after all physical healing.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2018 Clive Williams