State Farm and Victoria Stilwell, internationally renowned dog trainer, author and star of Animal Planet's It’s Me or the Dog, have joined forces to teach people how to be responsible pet owners and reduce the number of dog bites.
National Dog Bite Prevention Week is May 18 -24, 2014 and to reinforce the importance of pet owner responsibility, members of the National Dog Bite Prevention Week Coalition are hosting a press conference at the National Press Club on Thursday, May 15.
Education about responsible pet ownership and how to interact properly with any dog is critically important when it comes to reducing dog bite incidents. According to Stilwell “the most effective way to prevent dog bites is not to ban certain breeds of dog, but to raise awareness of canine behavior through education, as well as encouraging responsible dog ownership.”
In 2013, State Farm paid $104 million as a result of 3,700 dog bite claims. Over the past five years, the insurer has paid $510 million for claims resulting from accidents involving a dog. Sadly many of these accidents could have been prevented.
State Farm urges caution around all dogs, including family pets. Prevent the Bite provides posters and safety information to teach children how to correctly approach a dog. The American Humane Association offers a free online booklet called Pet Meets Baby that includes a forward by Victoria and provides families with valuable information on introducing a new child to a home with a dog.
Remember, a responsible dog owner should:
- Never leave a baby or small child alone with a dog, even if it is a family pet. Children are often bitten by a dog in their own household.
- Ask permission before touching or playing with a dog.
- Remember that any dog can be dangerous and any dog can bite.