COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio only trails California and Illinois when it came to dog bite claims in 2017.
According to State Farm Insurance, in 2017 there were 226 dog-related injury claims in the state of Ohio. Those bites resulted in $5 million in injury claims.
State Farm reported approximately 3,600 total dog-related injuries last year, resulting in $132 million paid in insurance claims.
Ohio came in third in the United States in 2017, trailing California, which had 468 claims, and Illinois, which accounted for 318 claims.
While an overwhelming majority of interactions with dogs don’t result in injury, most dog bites could be prevented by practicing responsible pet ownership and educating people, especially children, about how to safely interact with dogs, states State Farm.
Here are some tips to keep people safe from dog bites.
- Learn canine body language. Too often people misunderstand or miss signals that a dog is uncomfortable. For example, a dog that yawns might not necessarily be tired. Yawning can also be a sign of stress.
- Give dogs space. Dogs can feel threatened when strange people touch them, so take pressure off by giving them the choice to come into your space first to say hello.
- Be humane. Dogs that are raised and trained humanely are more confident and less likely to bite than dogs that are trained using punitive methods or equipment designed to intimidate and cause pain.
Homeowners should talk to their insurance agent about coverage under a standard homeowner policy.