It’s only natural to think the best of your dog. They’re man’s best friend, after all and many people consider their pets as members of the family. So it can be tough to respond to the fact that your beloved four-legged friend has bit someone. While you may not want to think your particular puppy would ever be capable of such a transgression, it’s still best to be prepared.

First, you need to respond immediately. That’s why it’s good to read this now, so you know exactly what to do during this scenario. A stalled reaction at this time will make matters worse.

Although it’s tough, stay calm. Your dog is most likely in an excited or even aggravated stage and you’ll only add to it by taking on a similar level of energy.

Now, move your dog to another room, their kennel, crate, etc. Get them somewhere where they won’t be able to bite anyone else right now.

With that taken care of, it’s time to help the victim. Obviously, some bites need medical attention. However, other times, you’ll just want to wash the bite with warm, soapy water to keep it clean. If it needs medical attention, hold off on this part so you don’t make it worse with washing.

Don’t get defensive or start laying blame. Even if you think it was truly the person’s fault, now’s not the time for that and that tack could actually backfire if they decide to take legal action against you.

If you don’t know the person, exchange contact information with them. Do the same thing with any witnesses.

Then, call an attorney. It’s important you do this as soon as possible, so you can tell them what happened without forgetting any important details. They may tell you that you need to contact the authorities to report the incident. In any case, comply with their advice.