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5/19/2014 - National Dog Bite Prevention Week begins


Americans all over the country are taking part in a program to raise awareness of dog bit prevention.

With approximately 70 million registered dogs throughout the country, America clearly loves canines. It's easy to understand why, considering the endless amounts of pure, unadulterated excitement they show their owners the moment they walk through the door.

Unfortunately, however, there are also millions of dog bites that occur on annual basis, often serious enough to require medical treatment. In most of these cases, though, they likely could have been avoided had the appropriate precautions been taken.

May 19-25 is National Dog Bite Prevention Week, recognized by numerous pet and consumer advocacy organizations, such as the American Kennel Club and the American Veterinary Medical Association. It's estimated that 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year, the vast majority of which are among young children.

The physical and emotional scars left after a dog bite can be very serious, and the medical treatment costly. However, with certain homeowners insurance, dog bites are often covered  through the liability portion of these policies.

Since 2003, the number of claims that insurers have received related to dog bites has hovered right around 16,000 nationwide, according to the Insurance Information Institute. In 2012, the average cost per claim was just under $29,800, up approximately 1.2% from the previous year.

There are a variety of ways in which to avoid dog bites, such as never approaching an unfamiliar dog, discouraging children from playing with them at inopportune times - like when they're sleeping or eating - and for owners, considering professional training.

The AVMA has additional helpful resources to ensure safety. For more details on whether your homeowners insurance covers dog bites, talk to a Selective insurance agent today.


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