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What should I do to avoid being bit by a dog while running?

As an avid jogger, you are probably already familiar with a number of road safety tips and precautions. In addition to accounting for vehicular traffic and the possibility of getting hit by a car while on your daily run, it’s also very important to protect yourself against the prospect of a dog attack. Knowing what to do if and when you are confronted by an unfamiliar dog can go a long way to mitigate potential injuries.

As we discussed in an earlier post, animal attack incidents are more prevalent than many people may assume and can be avoided in many instances. Unfortunately, however, there is a very real chance that you or a loved one may encounter an aggressive dog in your area. That is why Men’s Health offers a few practical suggestions for preventing and handling a dog attack

No matter if you enjoy running solo or in a pack, it’s recommended that you always carry a cell phone. Not only is a cell phone important in the event of an emergency but it is also useful to record any information relating to a dog attack incident. For instance, you will want to document the name of the dog/s involved in an altercation, in addition to the dog owner’s contact information and the dog’s vaccination history.

If you ever are approached by an unattended dog on the street, it’s important to understand that your actions can influence those of the animal. Running away is not advised, since doing so could prompt the dog to chase you. Instead, attempt to avoid eye contact with the animal and walk slowly in its direction. Maintaining a sense of dominance over the animal can help to overrule its predatory instincts.

In the event that the dog does attack, remaining in control of your own instincts and reaction can help to save your life. It’s recommended that you protect your body by covering your chest and neck with your arms and fists as best you can. Experts also suggest that you avoid fighting too aggressively, because your aggression could encourage the dog to be more aggressive too.

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