It can be a horrifying experience for families if their dog ends up biting someone and a law suite occurs. Most times it never makes it that far, and the incidents are handled by the Insurance company. So how do you insure your dog? Do you need dog insurance or is it included in your Homeowners Insurance?
Why do you need it?
Insurance is what covers you if your dog were to bite someone. Yes, I know. You have the most mild tempered dog anyone would ever meet, and I believe you. Even the most mild tempered dog can act up though from time to time, and if someone were to put your dog in an uncomfortable or what they may perceive as threatening position, the dog will end up lashing out. He is still a dog, and his instincts are to protect and love. It is better to be safe just in case someone does threaten his territory. If you do not want to connect it to your homeowners insurance, there are insurance companies with just dog insurance. This may prevent your homeowners insurance from dropping you if an incident were to occur, but to know that for sure, I recommend talking to your agent.
What if my dog does bite someone?
First, as in anyone emergency situation, remain calm. You being more stressed and anxious about the situation can actually agitate your dog further, making the situation worse than it is.
Second, be extremely nice to the victim. Whether they antagonized the dog or not, be nice and handle the situation responsibly and maturely. The nicer you are to the victim (most of the time) the smoother the situation runs.
Next, exchange information. Give them, your name, address, phone number, and information about the dog (name, [eventually] Vaccination proof). Do NOT skip this step. You do not want to be nice to them that is your choice. Cannot keep a cool head, alright, but you cannot legally skip this step. It is much like an automobile accident. Exchange information, suggest they get medical attention, and file a report. It seems like a lot of work, but it is better to take care of everything properly instead of letting it come back on you.
Finally, offer to pay for their medical expense. Some people will blow you off and suggest that it is just a bite. That is fine. They have the right to do that, and maybe it is nothing to worry about. Some people will expect you to do this whether there are any physical effects or not. It is your responsibility as the offender to cover damages. Ask and make sure they are okay before dismissing the situation.
What if it was in my defense?
It is very possible your dog would attack someone to protect you. If this is the case, make sure you get to a safe place and if you can, take the dog with you to prevent further damage to him or the assailant. Once everything has calmed down and is determined safe, you should call the police and file an incident report. Once the police get to your location, you need to give them an honest, detailed statement of the events that occurred. Do not try to hide anything, or it will reflect poorly on you and the situation. It will take some time after that for anything to be decided what will happen to you and your dog. Be patient and if you interact with the victim often, be respectful and careful with what you say so nothing will harm you if it goes to court.
Dogs are a big part of your families, and when something happens to them, it can be a devastate event to you and your family. They are a part of the family. Make sure they are covered on your Homeowners Insurance or get them insured. Look for training tips on preventing dog’s from biting.