It's not the breed — any dog can bite
Dog bites can happen regardless of the breed, so use caution around canines.
One of the most traumatizing accidents that can happen is being bitten or injured by man's best friend. Dog-related injuries can result in physical and emotional scars to the victim. For the dog, it can result in abandonment or euthanasia. While many interactions with dogs don't result in injury, most dog bites could be prevented by practicing responsible pet ownership.
Dog bite statistics
The following information was provided by State Farm® and the Insurance Information Institute (III):
- Among children, the rate of dog bite injuries is highest for those 5 to 9-years-old.*
- According to the National Institutes of Health, emergency rooms saw an increase of children with dog bites since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Liability claims related to dog bites and other dog-related injuries cost homeowners insurers over $1.136 billion in 2022.
- State Farm alone paid over $210 million dollars for 3,285 dog bite and injury claims in 2022.
- The number of dog bite claims nationwide decreased from 17,981 in 2021 to 17,583 in 2022, according to an analysis of homeowners insurance data.
*Children should be carefully monitored around dogs — many dog bites occur from dogs considered otherwise friendly. Children should never be left unsupervised with a dog, even if the dog lives in the same house. Coupled with the record number of dogs adopted during the pandemic, these tips are more important than ever.
Why dogs bite
Dog bites rarely occur randomly or out of the blue. Even though they may seem unprovoked, dogs typically give warning signs before a bite occurs. Unfortunately, canine body language is very subtle, so these signs aren’t always the most obvious to the untrained eye. Lip licking, furrowed brows and yawning can all indicate that a dog is scared and could potentially bite. If you notice these behaviors, immediately give the dog some space. While dog bites happen for a variety of reasons, they’re usually a reaction to something — fear, surprise, pain, stress or frustration. Dogs may also bite to protect something valuable to them or to defend their territory.
What doesn’t cause a dog to bite is their breed. There’s no correlation between breed and dog bites despite the prevalence of dog breed discrimination in housing and insurance. Any dog can bite, so it’s important for every dog owner to understand the risks of dog bite injuries and how to help prevent them.
Dog bites and insurance
State Farm does not ask what breed of dog is owned when writing Homeowners or renters insurance. Just like humans, dogs are individuals. Every dog has a unique personality. While a dog's breed may dictate what the dog looks like, how a dog reacts to people or situations isn't guaranteed by breed or type. Most bites or serious injuries are a perfect storm of situation and circumstance. Responsible dog ownership and educating children and adults about how to safely interact with a dog will help reduce the chance of a dog bite or injury. Remember, under the right circumstances, any dog can bite.
Insurance is an important aspect to being a responsible dog owner. When renting a property make sure to have rental insurance because most landlords do not provide coverage should there be a dog bite incident. If you are a homeowner, talk to your insurance agent about what coverage is available under a standard homeowners policy related to dogs.
You may also want to consider the importance of your dog having insurance of their own. State Farm is working with Trupanion, a leader in high-quality insurance for cats and dogs, to help protect your pet from new and unexpected illnesses and injuries. Discover how a pet insurance policy can be there for your pet during their lifetime. Talk to a State Farm agent or get a free, no-obligation quote online today.
Terms and conditions do apply. We love informed decisions. See the Trupanion policy for full coverage details.