Dog Bite Prevention Week with AVMA President Dr. Douglas Kratt and Heather Paul of State Farm


I talk HERE on Steve Dale’s Pet World, WGN radio about  dog bite prevention as April 11 to 17 is American Veterinary Medical Association’s Dog Prevention Week. My guests are Dr. Douglas Kratt, president of the AVMA and State Farm Insurance spokesperson Heather Paul.

Dr.Douglas Kratt, AVMA President

Dr. Kratt notes most bites can be prevented – that is why awareness throughout this week is so very important.

Most bites happen within the home (and therefore the family dog is involved) and about half or more of those bites are inflicted on children who live that home. So how can you prevent these bites? Dr. Kratt notes sometimes there’s a medical explanation, as the dog is in pain and family members aren’t understanding or paying attention to the pup who is trying to tell them.

We discuss how most homeowners insurance carriers, unlike State Farm, broadly blame and profile dog breeds for bites rather than the temperament of the individual dog.  The problem isn’t a particular breed, it’s the individual. Paul explains, for starters, the breed is often misidentified. And besides, there’s no proof anywhere that inherently a specific breed is more dangerous.

Heather Paul, State Farm

Not all dog claims are truly bites, for example if you trip over your friend’s dog, this will count as a claim.

In 2020 the number of claims went down but the cost to insurance companies went up. We talked about why 2020 wasn’t only a tough year for us, it was for dogs as well.

Monday April 12 at Noon CT, a free Facebook live event HERE – which you can watch and/or partake. I am moderating a panel, which includes Paul, Dr. Douglas Kratt, president American Veterinary Medical Association;  veterinary behaviorist Dr. Melissa Bain, professor of Clinical Animal Behavior at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine; Dr. Lisa Staubus, Rescue Veterinarian American Humane Association; Janet Ruiz, director of strategic communications Insurance Institute and Victoria Stilwell, dog trainer and former host It’s Me or the Dog of Animal Planet.

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