Pet owners are responsible for the care of their animals, but sometimes accidents and incidents occur. After all, you would never predict that your sweet, loving and cuddly canine could harm, attack or bite anyone. Just as with humans, dogs can have a bad day, get irritated by a particular trigger (like a squirrel, bird, chipmunk or another Dog,) get scared or fearful of a guest or visitor. It is so often the unexpected incident that leads to injuries caused by a pet that would “never bite” according to the pet owner. State Farm comprised a list of states that were highlighted as the top ten with dog-related injury claims.

The report documented by State Farm Insurance

Dog bites are not an outlandish insurance claim at State Farm, but most people do not hear about these issues unless it involves a Pit Bull dog breed.

Statistics show that Ohio raised by 42 percent from 2015 to 2016, placing this state in third place with 211 canine bite claims. Indiana was eighth on the list with 137 dog bite claims. Dog bite claims can average almost $36,000 for each incident. In 2016, claims paid by State Farm exceeded $121 million, documenting 3,660 canine bite claims nationwide.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) and State Farm Insurance belong to the National Dog Bite Prevention Coalition. The USPS documented an increase in dog bites from 2015 to 2016 and ranked Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Akron, Ohio among the top 30 cities in the USA known for a high number of dog bites on mail carriers. They are more susceptible to canine bites in spring and summer when more people and their pets spend more time outdoors.

Children are also prone to dog bites because of their dynamic nature when approaching a dog that may become frightened and bite out of that fear or anxiety.

Methods pet owners can take to understand dog body language

Victoria Stilwell is a dog trainer that works with the State Farm agency to educate pet owners and others on how to understand dog body language.

Being a responsible canine owner, some tips she provides that could keep people safe from the danger of dog bites are:

  • Be aware of your dog’s body language and any signals that show the animal is stressed or uncomfortable
  • Canines often feel threatened when strangers attempt to touch them. It is best that you introduce dog and stranger within your space
  • Studies show that canines raised in a humane manner are more self-assured and less likely to get aggressive and bite. Proper humane training is also necessary.
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