Avoiding Dog Bites

May 21, 2014 at 9:02 AM | Posted in Home, Insurance Claims, Personal Insurance, Safety Tips | Leave a comment
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Dogs may be man’s best friend, but according to the Insurance Information Institute, one third of all homeowners liability claims paid out in 2013 were from dog bites. The cost of those claims in 2013 alone was more than $483 million. Each year, the number of dog bite claims rises.

All dogs have the potential to bite under the right scenarios. The best way to protect yourself from claims is to prevent your dog from biting in the first place. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Make sure a dog is suitable for your household and neighborhood before adopting or purchasing it. Research and check with a professional dog trainer to learn what will work best for your situation.
  • Spend the time to train and socialize your dog to ensure positive interactions with people or other animals.
  • Invest in professional training sessions.
  • Ask whether a child or adult is fearful of your dog and separate them while that person is in your home.
  • Small children should never be left alone with a dog.
  • Don’t let anyone, especially children, disturb a dog that is eating or sleeping.
  • Seek professional advice immediately if your dog develops aggressive behaviors.
  • Always display calm caution, and never surprise an unfamiliar dog upon approaching.
  • Avoid staring directly into a dog’s eyes as this may be a threatening gesture to the animal.

May 18th through the 24th is National Dog Bite Prevention Week. This annual event provides consumers with information on how to be responsible pet owners and increasing dog bite awareness. You can learn more by visiting the American Humane Associations website at www.americanhumane.org or the American Kennel Club at www.akc.org/insurance/tips_dogbites.cfm

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