Dog bite claims top $489 million

05/29/2013 | ABC News

The best way for people to avoid the potentially costly liability associated with a dog bite is to prevent a bite from occurring in the first place, experts say. Insurance companies in the U.S. paid out $489 million for homeowner dog bite claims last year, up by more than 50% over the 2003 payout, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Very young children should not be left alone with dogs, no matter how safe the animal seems, warns AVMA animal welfare scientist Dr. Emily Patterson-Kane, because children tend to do things that startle dogs, potentially inciting aggressive behavior.

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