I have had a dog or dogs most of my life and love them dearly. I have never been bitten by a dog, but it does happen all over the United States. Responsible pet ownership is important and this week is National Dog Bite Prevention Week to help us all remember to be responsible.

Here are some tips to help all of us to be responsible dog owners and the top 10 states for dog bite insurance claims according to State Farm Insurance. 

Top 10 states for State Farm Dog Bite Claims in 2011

State Number of claims Claims paid (estimated)
1. California
527 $20.3 million
2. Illinois
309 $10.0 million
3. Texas
219 $5.1 million
4. Ohio
215 $5.4 million
5. Pennsylvania
197 $4.9 million
6. Michigan
181 $7.0 million
7. Florida
157 $5.1 million
8. Indiana
139 $3.5 million
9. New York
133 $6.1 million
10. Minnesota
117 $3.5 million

In addition to stressing responsible pet ownership, State Farm and American Humane Association encourage responsible behavior and caution around dogs, including family pets.  Under the right circumstances, any dog might bite.

  • NEVER leave a baby or small child alone with a dog.
  • Be on the lookout for potentially dangerous situations.
  • Start teaching young children — including toddlers — to be careful around pets.
  • Children must be taught NOT to approach strange dogs.
  • Always ask permission from a dog’s owner before petting any dog.