Protecting Yourself From Liability as a Dog Owner

angry dog with bared teeth

If you are a dog owner, we are sure you love your furry friend. In fact, you most likely feel they are part of the family. However, not everyone will hold the same opinion about your pet. Guests, neighbors and visitors might have a bad experience with your dog. For whatever reason, the animal may harm someone. Whether it be biting or just scaring them, when a dog does so, the owner can be held liable.

To protect yourself from having to pay huge medical bills and other expenses, following are some ways to limit your liability as a dog owner.

Put Up a Fence

The best way to limit your liability is to ensure your dog resides in an enclosed area. This way anyone who comes into contact with him or her must be on your property.

If you do not have a fence, the dog can run wild and attack people. With a fence, you can argue in court, if necessary, that the victim created the situation by intruding on your property.

Have Signage

It is very important for you to have signs up in obvious places warning of a vicious dog. Even if your beloved pet is an angel around you, they may be rough with strangers. A sign can serve as fair warning to all who come close to your property that a dog is on the premises.

Without this warning, the victim will better be able to prove in court that you foresaw such an incident and did nothing to prevent it. This oversight can be considered negligence.

Spay and Neuter

A dog that has been spayed or neutered is less likely to be aggressive, according to most experts. You will also be better able to prove that the victim unnecessarily provoked an aggressive action from an otherwise peaceful animal.

Enroll in Obedience Classes

These classes will help the dog learn how to obey and socialize with humans. Furthermore, in case a victim sues, you can use attendance in these classes as proof that your animal is non-aggressive.

Avoid Aggressive Play

Be sure to never play aggressive games with your dog. For example, avoid playing “tug-a-war.”

Remember the animal does not fully know the difference between a game and a real life situation.

Get Compassionate Legal Advice

Regardless of what you do, there may still be a time in which your dog gets into a confrontation or other bad situation. You may then find yourself facing a huge lawsuit.

Before things get out of hand, be sure to seek professional legal advice. An experienced law firm can help you tell the court your side of the story. Above all, you want your dog to be left alone and not in some form of trouble with the authorities.