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Rising pet ownership could result in more dog bites

On Behalf of | Jul 26, 2021 | Injuries

Pets in general and dogs, in particular, provide joy and companionship to owners throughout the world. While having a pet entails a fair amount of responsibility, the experience is positive enough that more and more people in the U.S. have pets than ever before.

This could lead to more dog bite incidents in localities in California and elsewhere.

A steady rise in homes with pets

The website Spots reported that pet ownership in the U.S. continues a rise that began at least as far back as 1988. While 68% of households had a pet in 2013, a high watermark, that percentage is likely to rise as high as 70% in 2021. More than half of the nation’s households have a dog as a pet. Since 2000, dog ownership has risen by nearly 22%.

California is not particularly high when it comes to pet ownership rates. Only 53% of households in the state own pets, placing California in 37th place, and just under 33% own dogs.

A potential increase in dog bites

At this point, anecdotal evidence suggests an increase in dog bites since 2020. The U.S. News & World Report indicated that dogs, reacting to various factors, may exhibit an increase in aggressive behaviors. Some veterinary establishments report a startling increase in dog bites, especially in regards to children.

Experts say that dogs can pick up stress in a household. This can cause the animals to react differently than in the past. Proper actions can limit the likelihood of a bite, such as never reaching through a fence to pet a dog. As more people own dogs, the chances for bites are likely to rise.