Updated Dog Bite Laws Illustrate Importance of Controlling Your Pets
If you’re a dog owner, dog bite liability can be a serious concern. Recently, in states like Wisconsin, laws have been passed making penalties more severe for damages caused by dogs. For instance, dog owners are liable for the full amount of damages their dog causes to a person, domestic animal, or property. If the owner knows that there has been a previous incident with their dog and it causes injury or damage again, the owner could be responsible for two times the full amount of damages. Additionally, fines charged to dog owners (in addition to any other liability) have increased with the new laws. There are also new procedures for the court to order an aggressive dog to be put down.
At Western National, we understand that pets can be part of the family, and so as a pet owner you might be looking for additional ways to prevent the consequences set forth by these laws. Here is a list of useful tips to help keep your dog and others safe from biting situations:
- Allow your dog to interact with other animals and people in a controlled setting. Socialization can help your pet get used to being around other animals and people.
- Keep your dog on a leash in public places. Consider using a harness if your dog is not leash trained.
- Use a muzzle if necessary.
- If your dog does not behave well around others, be extra cautious about where you go and any other people or animals around.
- Keep an eye on your dog’s body language. Even if a dog is normally friendly, it can become aggressive in unfamiliar situations. If your dog appears aggressive or fearful, remove it from the situation immediately.
- Train your dog. Common commands such as “Stay!” and “Come!” can be extremely useful for controlling your pet in new environments.
- Install a fence in your yard. If you do not have a fence, do not let your dog outside without using a leash.
- Consider spaying or neutering your dog, as this can help reduce aggressive behavior.