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Top 10 Dog Breeds That Need Pet Insurance

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has warned pet owners that, regardless of size, gender or age, “any dog ​​can bite,” but added that most of the time, these cases can be prevented.

“Even the most affectionate, furry and sweetest pet can bite if provoked,” the organization explained in a dog bite prevention guide on its website. “Remember, it’s not the breed of a dog that determines whether he will bite, but the individual dog’s history and behavior.”

read more: Revealed: Top 15 Pet Insurance Providers in the US

Why do dogs bite?

There are a number of reasons canines bite, according to the AVMA, but they often do so in reaction to something.

“If the dog is in a stressful situation, it may bite to defend itself or its territory,” the association noted. “Dogs can bite because they are scared or frightened. They may bite because they feel threatened. They may bite to protect something that is valuable to them, like their pups, their food, or a toy.”

Some canines also become aggressive when sick or injured, as they may want to be left alone. But even if they feel good or playful, there is still a risk that they might bite.

“Dogs can also bite and bite during play,” the association added. “Although chewing during play can be fun for the dog, it can be dangerous for people. It’s a good idea to avoid wrestling or playing tug-of-war with your dog. These types of activities can make your dog overly excited, which can lead to a nip or nip.”

What is the average cost of dog injury claims?

These cases demonstrate the importance of having the right type of coverage for many of the country’s dog owners.

AVMA data shows that pet insurance companies paid a total of $881 million in liability claims related to dog bites and other canine-related injuries in 2021, with an average cost per claim of about $49,025.

Among the insurers with the highest payout for dog-related injury claims in recent years is State Farm, which paid out more than $1.1 billion between 2012 and 2021.

Meanwhile, the top 10 states that reported the most dog bite incidents last year in alphabetical order are Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.

read more: Dog breeds with the most and least expensive insurance rates

What types of insurance policies should dog owners take out?

Pet insurance, including dogs, generally provides three types of coverage, primarily health-related. These are:

  • Accident and Sickness – The most common type of coverage, this type of policy covers injuries caused by accidents, including broken bones, torn ligaments, bite wounds, eye trauma, and poisoning, and illnesses, such as skin infections, cancer, arthritis, allergies. , ear infections, diarrhea and internal parasites.
  • Accident-only: Some insurers offer this type of plan, which essentially covers everything related to sudden physical injuries. This type of policy generally costs less than accident and sickness plans and accommodates pets with pre-existing conditions.
  • Wellness – This optional coverage pays for wellness expenses, including annual physical exams, spay or neuter procedures, routine blood tests, heartworm testing and treatment, fecal tests, urinalysis, routine vaccinations, dental cleanings, and flea and tick treatments.

However, experts advise canine owners to purchase another form of protection, one that covers injuries and damage their pets cause to others. This type of policy is called pet liability insurance.

How does pet liability insurance work?

Most homeowners and renters insurance policies provide liability coverage up to a certain limit. This includes claims resulting from pet-related injuries and damages. In addition to dog bites, some plans cover property damage, including when a pet, for example, chewed on someone else’s couch or urinated on someone else’s laptop.

Dog owners can also purchase separate dog liability coverage, especially if their pets are among the breeds considered “aggressive” or if they feel that the coverage in their home insurance policies is not enough.

Read more: Dog bites are a growing liability for businesses and pet owners

Top 10 Dog Breeds That Need Pet Insurance

In a recent blog, Pawlicy Advisor listed the top 10 dog breeds that may need coverage due to different behavioral and health factors.

To come up with the list, the pet insurance market considered several parameters, including bite force data from industry information website Pet Comments, temperament scores, which measure how polite a dog behaves in various settings, of the American Temperament Test Society (ATTS). ), and percentage of homeowners insurers (among 42 providers) that prohibit race in Forbes Advisor. These metrics reflect each breed’s level of risk when it comes to attacking or biting others. Pawlicy Advisor also took into account the different diseases that breeds are exposed to.

These are the top 10 dog breeds that require coverage, according to the Pet Insurance Marketplace. The list is arranged in alphabetical order:


Bite Force: 350 to 400 pounds per square inch (PSI)

Bite Force Rating: 11

Temperament Score Pass Rate: 77.8%

Percentage of home insurers that prohibit race: 79%

Common health problems: sebaceous adenitis and hip dysplasia

2. Alaskan Malamutes

Bite Force: 235 PSI*

Bite Force Rating: Not Rated

Temperament Score Pass Rate: 84.8%

Percentage of home insurers that prohibit race: 26%

Common health problems: Bloating (gastric dilatation-volvulus)

3. American Staffordshire Terrier (AmStaff)

Bite Force: 328 PSI**

Bite Force Rating: Not Rated

Temperament Score Pass Rate: 85.5%

Percentage of home insurers that prohibit the breed: 100% (classified as pit bulls)

Common health problems: elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, progressive retinal atrophy, and cerebellar ataxia

4. Bulldogs

Bite Force: 305 PSI**

Bite Force Rating: Not Rated

Temperament Score Pass Rate: 86.9%

Percentage of home insurers that prohibit race: 19%

Common health problems: diseases related to the nose, eyes, teeth and respiratory system

5. Cane Corso

Bite Force: 700 PSI

Bite Force Rating: 3

Temperament Score Pass Rate: 88.1%

Percentage of home insurers that prohibit race: 19%

Common health problems: epilepsy, gastric dilatation-volvulus, and eyelid abnormalities

6.Chow Chow

Bite Force: 220 PSI

Bite Force Rating: 22

Temperament Score Pass Rate: 71.7%

Percentage of home insurers that prohibit the race: 95%

Common health problems: hypothyroidism, skin and ear infections, obesity, and depression

7. Doberman Pinscher

Bite Force: 245 PSI

Bite Force Rating: 16

Temperament Score Pass Rate: 79.5%

Percentage of home insurers that prohibit the race: 100%

Common health problems: Certain types of cancer, dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), liver inflammation, wobbler syndrome, and swelling

8. german shepherd

Bite Force: 238 PSI

Bite Force Rating: 17

Temperament Score Pass Rate: 85.3%

Percentage of home insurers that prohibit race: 45%

Common health problems: problems in the hips and the gastrointestinal tract

9. Labrador Retriever

Bite Force: 230 PSI

Bite Force Rating: 20

Temperament Score Pass Rate: 92.2%

Percentage of home insurers that prohibit race: none

Common health problems: elbow and hip dysplasia, as well as knee-related problems and eye problems

10. rottweiler

Bite Force: 328 PSI

Bite Force Rating: 12

Temperament Score Pass Rate: 84.7%

Percentage of home insurers that prohibit the race: 100%

Common health problems: heart disease, including aortic stenosis

*Data from Dog Breeds Expert

** Data from

Read more: The 25 Most Dangerous Dog Breeds

How can owners prevent their dogs from biting others?

While the AVMA noted that dogs, regardless of breed, age, or gender, can bite others when provoked, there are several practical strategies canine owners can do to prevent such instances from occurring. These include:

  • Socialize the dog: This can help dogs get comfortable in different situations. According to the AVMA, by introducing your dog to people and other animals while he’s still a puppy, he’ll become more comfortable in different situations as he gets older.
  • Being a responsible pet owner: This includes carefully selecting a dog that is right for your family, giving it proper training and regular exercise, and spaying or neutering the pet.
  • Proper Education: Educating yourself and your children on how, or if, approaching a dog can reduce the risk of them being attacked or bitten.
  • Avoid risky situations: It is also important to know how to avoid risky situations that escalate and understand when you should and should not interact with dogs. These include when the canine is not with his owner, or when he is growling, barking, sleeping, eating, playing with a toy, sick or injured.
  • Pay attention to body language: Just like people, dogs rely on body gestures, postures, and vocalizations to express themselves and communicate. While it’s not always possible to read a dog’s body language accurately, it can give helpful clues as to whether he’s feeling stressed, scared, or threatened.

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