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What can you do if you're attacked at a dog park?

Dog parks are great places to meet other people, pets and to have a relaxing day. Your dog can go off-leash legally, and most dogs are friendly and not territorial since the park is common ground. Most of the time, dogs don't cause any problems at the dog parks, and even if there is a minor scuffle, owners can step in and prevent any injuries from occurring.

That's not always what happens, though. Dogs can have bad days, and when they do, their teeth come out. This is particularly dangerous for small dogs who are attacked by larger dogs or people who get caught in the middle of a dog pile.

Just like with dog bites involving people, the owner of a dog who bites another dog is generally held responsible for the incident. The dog park itself is typically designed to be used at your own risk, but the park may have rules that you have to follow. For instance, it may state that if your dog injures another, you're responsible for paying for veterinary bills. The same is true, of course, if your dog bites and maims a person.

In any case, the first few minutes following a bite are crucial. For people, call 911 and have an emergency team come to the scene. For animals, call an emergency vet and get it to the vet as soon as possible. If you are with a second person or a witness, have that person get the owner's information of the aggressive dog so you have it after your pet gets the emergency medical care it needs.

Source: PetPlace, "Dog Parks and Bites: What You Need to Know," Tracie Santos, accessed Sep. 28, 2017

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