Dogs Knocking Over Cyclists are a Growing Concern for PA Residents

Dogs breaking free from the yard and knocking over cyclists are often overlooked in pet owner education

Many vets and pet professionals across the state are offering tips for pet owners to reduce their risk of accidental dog bites.


  • Become breed aware and adopt a breed conducive to your lifestyle.
  • Dedicate time to spend with a potential pet before committing to an adoption.
  • Exercise caution when introducing new pets to small children.
  • Learn about decompression when adopting a shelter dog.
  • Secure dogs when strangers approach your home.
  • Practice proper animal socialization.
  • Invest in do not pet harnesses to warn strangers to stay away from the dog.
  • Learn about the cues that animals give to show their frustration.

According to the Information Insurance Institute, 794 dog related insurance claims in Pennsylvania totaled $24.2 million dollars in 2015.

An interesting fact to take into consideration is that not all of these claims were bite related. Philadelphia attorney, Joel Kofsky, agrees that it’s not just dog bites that result in pet-related accidents.

Mr Kofsky, explains: “Dog bites are certainly a concern. People worry about their kids and the neighbor’s dog, or a strange dog at the park. But, they are not the only factor in dog-related accidents. Dogs breaking free from the yard and knocking over cyclists are often overlooked in pet owner education. However, these types of accidents are far-reaching.”

The scenario is all too common. A loving pet owner takes his well-trained dog to run off leash in the woods. Along comes a mountain bike rider, and, a dog being a dog, chases the bike rider.

Naturally, the bike rider assumes the dog wants to bite him, so he speeds up. This…

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