Dogs are supposed to be man’s best friend. That’s probably why so many people see one and trust that it’s going to be friendly. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.

Dogs that are feeling unwell or that are of a poor temperament can attack people. Some are territorial. Others are trained to bite and attack. If you come across one of these animals, then you could end up with serious injuries.

Do you know how to protect yourself during an attack?

If you’re being attacked by a dog, do you know what you can do to minimize the damage? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest putting something between yourself and the animal, whether it’s a jacket, bag, purse or other nearby item. You may be able to fend off an attacking dog this way or help prevent a bite from breaking your skin.

Another thing to remember is to curl up if you’re knocked over. Tuck your head and cover your ears and neck, which are prime targets for attacking animals.

If you’re attacked by a dog, you need to report the incident

It is very important to report any dog bite. Of course, if you’re hurt, you should call 911 and have the authorities, and emergency care, come to the scene. You will need to look into getting rabies treatment if the dog cannot be found or if it has not had its vaccinations. You will also potentially need other vaccinations, like the tetanus shot, along with antibiotics. Some people require surgery to clean out the wounds and to repair damage.

Dog bites do happen, and when they do, you need to take steps to report it. The owner can be held liable for the actions of their unrestrained pet.