Emotional Healing: How You Can Overcome the Trauma of a Dog Attack

emotional healing - dog attackAdults who are bitten by dogs often harbour generalized fears about them for many years afterwards. Here are some healthy ways to recover emotionally.

Spending Time Introspecting

Spend time turning your thoughts inward and thinking about why you’re afraid of dogs. Maybe it’s obvious: you were attacked. But, maybe that makes you afraid of just that dog. Are you afraid of all dogs? Why?

It’s not uncommon for people who have received a dog bite to want to press charges, and speak with an attorney. That’s understandable. The dog owner is liable for the bite. At the same time, is there anything you did that might have unintentionally (or intentionally) provoked the dog? Spend some time learning about dog psychology and how dog brains work. You’ll gain a deeper appreciation for canines and how to act around them.

Talk To A Psychotherapist

Psychotherapists aren’t just for “crazy people.” In fact, many people speak with psychotherapists because they don’t know how to introspect and thus they are incapable of solving problems without at least some help from the therapist on how to think about solving psychological problems.

Talk To A Friend

If you can’t afford to speak with a psychotherapist, speak to a close and personal friend. Sometimes, all you need is a friend whom you can bounce ideas off of. If you know someone who is exceptional at giving advice, and especially good at listening, choose this friend.

Often, you don’t need someone else to talk you into liking dogs. You just need to talk about your fears, figure out a workable solution, and then make a decision as to whether or not you think it’s worth the effort.

Dogs are amazing creatures, but that doesn’t mean you have to like them or be around them. At the same time, dogs are almost everywhere. There are a lot of dog people. So, in most cases, it pays to at least understand them, how to behave around them, and how to move on.

Acclimate Yourself To Dogs

This is one of the ways that a good psychotherapist will help you get over the fear of dogs. Depending how anxious you are around them, you might start off just looking at pictures of dogs. Once you get comfortable with that (and you need to be of the mindset that you will face your fear of dogs), you move on to watching dogs on T.V. – find videos of dogs on YouTube, or other video-based websites.

Next, go for a walk in a neighbourhood with a lot of dogs (on leashes, obviously). You can start out by walking past the dog on the opposite side of the street. Then, when you’re comfortable with that, move to the same side of the street.

Over time, you should become more and more comfortable around dogs, to the point of taking a trip to a dog shelter or a store where puppies are sold. Spend some time getting close to puppies first, as they pose less of a real threat (even perceived threat). Touch them, pet them, pick them up. Move up to larger dogs until you finally feel more comfortable around them in any situation. It will take time, and it might seem impossible right now, but it’s very possible if you’re committed to it.


Alisha Myers is a medical technician. She likes to share her insights on health by posting online. Look for her articles mainly on health websites.

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