Nearly 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year, and one in five bites is serious enough to need medical attention.
Here are five things you can do if you're attacked, based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and animal behavior experts:
- If a dog attacks, try to shove an object at it - purse, sweatshirt, backpack or even a shoe. Give it something to bite other than you.
- If you fall, or get knocked to the ground, try to protect your face, chest and throat. Curl into a tight ball, and make your hands into fists to protect your fingers.
- Try not to scream or roll around.
- Keep calm and resist the impulse to run. Don't be a moving target.
- Try commands - "Sit" or "Stay." If the dog ignores you, bring your head down and don't make eye contact.