Americans are providing homes for more dogs than ever before. This stems from older people filling empty nests with dogs, millennials delaying starting a family and people focusing more on outdoor activities. Not surprisingly, dog bite injuries and claims have increased with dog ownership.

According to WTXL Tallahassee, Florida ranks second for dog bite injuries. It reports that Floridians submitted 1,281 claims worth $56 million in damages. The average claim paid out to injured parties totaled almost $50,000.

Who dogs attack

Many people view dogs as family pets that protect children, but data overwhelmingly shows otherwise. Dogs may protect children in their own households, but they often attack others. The highest risk for dog bites occurs between the ages of 5 and 9 years old.

Some professionals also experienced greater risks of dog bites. These include food delivery personnel, mail carriers, meter readers and package deliverers.

How the claims are trending

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that even though Florida ranks highly, the dog bite claims are actually declining. In 2016 and 2017, Floridians submitted 1,325 and 1,345 claims, respectively. It is not clear why bite claims recently declined. However, the value per claim seems to be on the rise and makes up roughly a third of all the money paid out by insurance policies in accordance with homeowners’ insurance policies.

All across America, 78 million dogs live with human families. Every year, 4.5 million people report dog bites. Some of these victims are often from within these households, which may complicate matters immensely. Vets warn that even the sweetest dogs can sometimes bite unexpectedly, especially if the dog feels cornered or threatened.