What to Know
- The Centers of Disease Control said nearly 350,000 people were treated for injuries due to dog bites in 2017.
The state of Florida may not exactly celebrate their spot in a report released Thursday – as the Sunshine State came in second nationally in the number of dog bites last year.
According to the State Farm and Insurance Information Institute Report, Florida had nearly 1,300 dog bite claims last year out of the nearly 17,300 claims nationally.
Money wise, over $56 million was paid out in Florida for an average of $43,800 per claim. Nationally, over $674 million in claims were paid out last year as Florida finished behind California on the list.
Veterinarians, insurance officials and others are reminding both dog owners and others to be safe if ever in a situation where they may be in danger of being bit.
"Being aware, paying attention, you know everybody's on their phone,” said Dr. Denis Bergeron.
The Centers of Disease Control said nearly 350,000 people were treated for injuries due to dog bites in 2017 with children between five and nine years of age being the group at the highest risk.
"Everybody wants to pick up their pet if they see a big dog coming, a lot of times your best bet is to drop the leash and let that dog go and hide somewhere then trying to pick it up because then you get knocked down and get bit,” Bergeron added.
Officials recommend always waiting to see an approaching is friendly before petting it, while also asking permission and gently petting it in an effort to prevent a possible bite – while never disturbing a dog while eating or grabbing its tail among other recommended things to avoid.