What to do if your dog bites someone: a complete guide

Greetings, fellow dog lovers! Although our canine companions bring us joy, there can be times when the unexpected happens, like when your dog bites someone.

As someone combining a legal background and writing for a California-based company, I’ve put together this comprehensive guide to provide you with a clear roadmap for how to respond if your a dog already bites another person. Responsible owning a pet means preparing for all scenarios, even the less pleasant ones.

Step 1: Ensure immediate security

The top priority is to prevent further damage. Quickly and safely restrain your dog, removing him from the situation to ensure no further injury occurs. The safety of everyone involved must be paramount.

Step 2: Caring for the injured person

Take a moment to assess the condition of the person your dog bit and offer assistance accordingly. In the event of a serious injury or heavy bleeding, it is imperative to call 911 or consult a doctor immediately.

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Step 3: Exchange information

Demonstrate your cooperation by fully engaging with the injured person. Collect their name, address and contact number. Be prepared to provide proof of your dog’s vaccination and licensing status.

Step 4: Document the incident

Capture the essence of the incident through photographs. Direct your lens towards the scene, the injuries suffered by the person involved and, if possible, your dog. This photographic evidence can prove invaluable in any potential legal proceedings.

Step 5: Report the incident

In accordance with California law, promptly report the dog bite incident to local animal control authorities. Provide them with a full account of the event and all the essential details regarding your dog.

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Step 6: Quarantine or observation

Meticulously adhere to legal mandates. Depending on the circumstances, your dog may require quarantine or veterinary observation for a specific period of time. Cooperation with animal control authorities is essential.

Step 7: Inform your insurer

Maintain open lines of communication with your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance company. Inform them of the incident, regardless of its perceived severity, and follow their advice regarding necessary steps.

Step 8: Find legal counsel

In more complex cases or if the injured party pursues legal action, consider consulting an attorney familiar with dog bite cases. For example, the Vaziri Dog Attack Lawyers are experts in these cases and can offer you advice on protecting your rights and navigating the complexities of the legal process.

Step 9: Reflect and prevent recurrence

Take time to reflect on the incident and explore ways to prevent future occurrences. This may include additional training, behavior modification, or seeking professional assistance for your dog.


Navigating a situation in which your dog bites someone can indeed be distressing, but exercising responsible ownership is paramount. Prioritize safety, provide assistance to the injured person and comply with all legal regulations.

Cooperative engagement with authorities and transparent communication with your insurer will facilitate a smoother process. Never forget that being a responsible dog owner involves not only cherishing the joys of canine companionship, but also taking responsibility for handling difficult situations with care and diligence.


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