National Dog Bite Prevention Week is April 7-13.
This week is specially important for the people of Illinois since Illinois ranks second in dog-related injuries.
In 2018, State Farm reportedly paid $123 million as a result of over 3,200 dog-related injury claims across the United States. Illinois had 288 claims last year, resulting in $10.3 million paid for those claims.
California (409 claims), Illinois (288), Ohio (177), Texas (168) and Pennsylvania (161) round out the top five states.
The following tips can help to keep people safe from dog bites, according to State Farm:
- Understand your dog’s body language: Too often people misunderstand or miss signals that a dog is uncomfortable. A dog that yawns might be a sign of stress rather than tiredness.
- Protect kids: Never leave children, especially babies, alone with a dog, even it is a family pet.
- Grab the leash: Always have your dog on a leash when outdoors, at the park, on walks, etc.
- Enroll your dog in training classes: This opens up communication between you and your pet. Socializing your dog puts them at ease around people and other animals.
- Go to the vet: Regular veterinary visits are essential to regulating the health of your dog. A sick or injured dog is more likely to bite.