If your pet attacks a person off your property or destroys property that belongs to someone else, these encounters can result in costly liabilities. According to the laws of Alberta, dog owners are responsible for injuries and damage, and it is common for victims to seek compensation for destruction of property, cost of medical treatment, and loss of income after a serious dog bite. Fortunately, your home insurance protects you from this type of lawsuit; however, Your best defense is to avoid these encounters in the first place. The brokers at Bow Valley Insurance are always working to help you keep your home insurance rates as low as possible throughout the duration of your policy.
A Brief Overview of Dog Bite Statistics
According to the Humane Society of Canada, a person is bitten by a dog every 60 seconds. Always pay close attention if your pet is near children because unfortunately, children tend to get bitten most often.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) , most injuries resulting from dog bites were sustained by children between the ages of five to nine years old. Of all injuries reported to the PHAC, most occur when the victim has no direct interaction with the dog, and the part of the body most often bitten is the face.
Other PHAC statistics on injuries from dog bites:
- About five per cent of victims require hospital admission after emergency room treatment
- 37 per cent of injuries require follow-up treatment after leaving the emergency room
- Medical advice or minor treatment accounts for about 60 per cent of injuries
- Males account for 58 per cent of victims
- Injuries occur most often during the summer
- Injuries occur most frequently between the hours of 4 a.m. and 8 p.m.
- Most injuries occur on the victim’s own property
Tips to Stop a Dog from Biting
Dogs often bite when they’re afraid, so it’s important to expose your pet to as many different (positive) experiences as possible. When conditions are calm, allow your pet to interact with as many people as possible — especially children, the disabled, and the elderly.
The following tips will help prevent your dog from biting and engaging in other bad behaviour:
- Enrol your dog in an obedience training course and on your own continue the same basic training throughout your pet’s lifetime
- Always reward good behaviour with praise
- Never discipline your dog using physical, violent, or aggressive punishment; this causes pets to become more aggressive
- On a daily basis, expose your pet to a variety of situations, especially what frequently startles dogs such as interaction with other pets, loud noises, machines, and bicycles
- Keep your dog on a leash or within fenced areas until you know they are not afraid of interacting with other people and their pets
- When off the leash, keep your dog within sight at all times
Tips for Handling a Fearful or Aggressive Dog
If your dog remains fearful or aggressive after training and exposure, you’ll need to take extra additional precautions to protect yourself from liability. Exposure to a variety of circumstances and proper training are key to preventing dog bites. Bad behaviour can often be prevented through responsible dog handling.
Tips for walking a fearful or overly aggressive dog:
- If you suspect your dog is fearful or has a tendency to become aggressive, always warn others as they approach
- Never let an aggressive dog approach other people or pets unless your pet is controlled with a leash
- Always use a muzzle if you know your dog is aggressive
- Keep all vaccinations current (especially rabies) and see a vet for regular check-ups
Bow Valley Insurance Provides the Lowest Rates on Calgary Home Insurance
Bow Valley Insurance brokers provide the best home insurance services in the industry, and our specialists work for you instead of an insurance company. Working with a broker provides significant savings. At Bow Valley Insurance, our promise is to always find you the best coverage at the lowest available rate.
Please request your free Calgary home insurance quote from Bow Valley today!