It’s up to dog owners to prevent their animals from harming others. Unfortunately, some dog owners are negligent in this duty, which can lead to serious dog attacks that cause significant injuries. When a dog owner is negligent, it’s up to you to do your best to prevent a dog bite from occurring. In this case, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention makes the following suggestions.

There are many different scenarios where a person can be attacked by a dog. For example, an unfamiliar dog may approach you on the street with no sign of its owner. If this occurs, the first thing you must do is to remain calm. If you panic or attempt to flee it could incite the animal to attack. Try to remain as still as possible as the dog approaches and refrain from making any loud noises or sudden movements.

You can command the dog to go home or go away in a clear, confident voice. However, it’s best that you don’t look the animal directly in the eyes, as it may perceive this as a challenge. Also, keep your body facing away from the dog so you don’t appear threatening. Hopefully, the dog will keep its distance or pass by you without incident. Despite your best efforts, a dog may still attack. If so, try to find something you can put between yourself and the animal, such as a backpack.

If you are bitten, medical treatment is urged. Even seemingly minor dog bites carry a risk of infection, and a doctor may need to prescribe antibiotics in this case. You also want to confer with your doctor about your rabies risk. Rabies is a serious illness that is most often fatal without proper treatment. If there is a risk of rabies, your doctor will likely recommend a vaccine, which can also be used as a treatment.