Dog bites landed about five people a week in Epsom and St Helier hospitals' A&Es in the first half of this year.

The hospital trust said that between January and June, the emergency departments treated 125 dog bite wounds.

This comes after a steep rise from 244 cases of dog bites in total in 2012 to 325 in 2013.

Dr Ruth Charlton, joint medical director at the trust, said: "Although the vast majority of dogs are very sociable and make great companions, they can be frightening and it can certainly be very distressing to be attacked by one.

"I would like to reassure the public that whether it’s an overly-playful nip from a family pet, to a more serious attack from another animal, our highly competent medical staff have the knowhow and resources to treat our patients."