CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Good news, dog bite claims are falling. Bad news, Ohioans rank third in the country for dog bite claims.
State Farm released their numbers recently showing that 177 dog bite claims were filed in Ohio for 2018.
The cost to the insurance company was $4.8 million, roughly $27,000 per claim, up from $23,000 in 2017.
Nationally State Farm had 3280 dog bite claims, at a cost of $123 million.
The top 10 states for dog-related injury claims are: California, Illinois, Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, Indiana, New York, and Minnesota.
The two states that are ahead of Ohio in claims are California with 409 claims and Illinois had 288 claims.
According to the Centers of Disease Control there are about 47 million dog bites every year in the U.S.
Approximately 16 fatalities result annually because of dog attacks, according to the CDC.
National dog bite prevention week , which takes place the second full week of April, focuses on education to prevent dog bites, which disproportionately affect small children.
Suggestions for reducing dog bites:
- Teach your child how to responsibly interact with dogs. Remember PAWS: Pause before every interaction. Ask owner if you can meet their dog. Wait in place patiently. Show respect and greet gently. NEVER leave a baby or small child alone with a dog, even if it is a family pet. Children are often bitten by dogs in their own household.
- Understand your dog. Understanding your dog’s body language during social interactions protects both your pet and other people. Look at the eyes, ears, tail, and posture to know when your dog may be happy, fearful, or angry.
- Give dogs space. Be alert. If someone approaches you and your dog, caution them to wait before petting the dog. Give your pet time to be comfortable with the stranger.
- Be humane. Use positive reinforcement with your dog to create and foster a relationship with your dog based on mutual trust, respect and love rather than pain, fear and intimidation.