Children and Pets: A Look at the Most Common Dog Bite Victims
When it comes to Dog Bite Liability Claims, one of the most common scenarios we hear of is an incident where a child was bit. We are typically told, “It happened in an instant!” and “There were several adults around, but nobody saw what happened.”
What dog owners must understand is that most dog bite liability claims are situational. They happen when a dog is put in an unusual situation, at least unusual for them, and they react. A case in which the dog has bitten before or actually had pervious behavioral issues is actually very rare.
As human adults, we understand who is friend or foe, and what to expect as far as typical behavior from a child. Expecting your dog to understand this is unreasonable. All they know is that at home, they are the center of their owner’s world. When a child comes into the picture, the dog is treated as an afterthought and attention is not given to how they are handling the situation.
According a JAMA article, dog bite injuries are the second most frequent cause of ER visits from the 9 most common activity injuries among children; almost all of those involving sports. The CDC estimates that the odds that a dog bite victim will be a child are 3.2 to 1, and that severe injury from dog bites is highest for children ages 5 to 9 years.
What can pet parents do to try to prevent a dog bite from occurring to a child? Here are a few basic suggestions.
- Spay or neuter your dog; this makes them calmer and less likely to be aggressive in some situations.
- Condition and socialize your dog; if possible get them used to being around children from puppyhood.
- Always supervise your dog; always. Dogs should not be left alone with children.
- Explain to children that they should not hug your dog; unless your pup is a trained service or therapy dog used to receiving this type of affection, chances are they will not like it, and being startled by a hug could cause them to bite.
- Train your dog; obedience classes that stress positive reinforcement are a great idea. Just remember that even the well-trained dog can bite.
Remember, every dog owner needs Canine Liability Insurance. Your dog cannot tell you if they are agitated, stressed, startled or angry. That feeling can drive even the gentlest dog to bite. Keep in mind too, that the average cost of a dog bite is $32,000! Don’t wait; get your quote today by visiting our site at DogBiteQuote.com or giving us a call at (855) 534-6495.