Dog Bites

When the Dog Bites

I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to bite you. I panicked.

- Name of owner
- Owner's contact information
- Name and breed of dog (helpful)
- Name of dog's veterinarian (helpful)

A Little Information Goes a Long Way

In the United States, dog rabies is very, very rare. This is good, because dog bites are fairly common. Unfortunately, many people require rabies vaccine after a dog bite because the dog cannot be found.

When a dog bites someone, Public Health staff must confirm it was healthy at the time of the bite and is still healthy 10 days later. Owners are asked to keep dogs at home for ten days. Staff from the Humane Society check the dog’s health during this time. All dogs’ are monitored after a bite, even those that are up to date on their rabies vaccine.

If you’re outside this spring or summer and are bitten by a dog, get the name, address, and phone number of its owner. It is also helpful to know the name and breed of the dog plus who their veterinarian is. Public Health staff will confirm the dog is up to date on rabies vaccine.

If the dog cannot be located, you will need rabies vaccine. The vaccination series is given at the emergency department and requires four to five visits.

All animal bites should be examined and treated by a healthcare professional. The medical provider will consult with the health department about vaccine. If vaccine is needed, the health department will cover your out of pocket costs.

(Updated 7/2/2020)