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National Dog Bite Prevention Week - May 18th - 24th

5/16/2014 (Permalink)

Since next week, May 18th - 24th, is National Dog Bite Prevention Week I thought I would forward some interesting claim statistics regarding dog bites highlighted in a study performed by the Insurance Information Institute and published in a May 14th article by PRNewswire - USNewswire. 

In 2013 dog bite claims accounted for more than one-third of all homeowner' s insurance claims, costing more than $ 483 million.  Over the last decade the average cost of a dog bite claim has increased over 45% to $ 27,862.

Even good dogs have the potential to bite but if dog owners follow some simple steps they can dramatically reduce the possibility of an event.

  • Consult with a professional (e.g., veterinarian, animal behaviorist, or responsible breeder) to learn about suitable breeds of dogs for your household and neighborhood.
  • Spend time with a dog before buying or adopting it. Use caution when bringing a dog into a home with an infant or toddler. A dog with a history of aggression is inappropriate in a household with children.
  • Be sensitive to cues that a child is fearful of or apprehensive about a dog and, if so, delay acquiring a dog. Never leave infants or young children alone with any dog.
  • Socialize your dog so it knows how to act with other people and animals.
  • Discourage children from disturbing a dog that is eating or sleeping.
  • Play non-aggressive games with your dog, such as "go fetch." Playing aggressive games like "tug-of-war" can encourage inappropriate behavior.
  • Avoid exposing your dog to new situations in which you are unsure of its response.
  • Immediately seek professional advice from veterinarians, animal behaviorists, or responsible breeders if your dog develops aggressive or undesirable behaviors.
  • Never approach a strange dog and always avoid eye contact with a dog that appears threatening

Here is a Link to the full article.