The responsibilities that come with owning a dog aren’t just limited to going on walks and picking up their poop. Even otherwise dormant dogs sometimes snap due to illness, old age or stress, and bite or attack someone, in which case it will be you who has to face the consequences in the form of an injured and traumatized individual.
Ontario’s Dog Owner’s Liability Act compiles all dog ownership rules, including the law which concretely states that the owner is always responsible if their dog injures another person, regardless of the influence of outside conditions. However, there are differences in the outcome of such law suits since the seriousness of injuries and outside circumstances vary on a case-by-case basis. It is best to discuss it with your injury lawyer in Cambridge and he or she might be able to help you get more clarity on it.
The first step to keeping your dog and others safe is by using a leash at all times. Even the best trained and most well behaved dog can be overtaken by instinct and put themselves, you or others in danger. If you are someone who likes to attend parks, be sure to become acquainted with its rules and guidelines. Regardless of the situation, you should always keep an eye on your dog since, as with all living beings, they do not automatically get along with everyone, of their own species. If you notice a sharp change in your dog’s body language because they feel provoked or threatened, make sure to remove both yourself and your dog from the situation.
You also cannot assume that everyone you meet is comfortable with being approached by your dog. Some may be traumatized by a previous run-in with another dog, and others may simply carry an inherit dislike. Either way, you should never let your dog jump on people. Even if they mean well or are simply showing excitement, their claws can still tear at clothing or leave bloody scratches on skin.
Given the unpredictability of both children and dogs, you should never leave those two together unattended. Kids often don’t know how to properly treat an animal and some of their actions may be seen as threatening by your dog, in which case the child may not know what to do and get scratched or bitten. An easy way to prevent this is to install baby gates or simply close a door between both parties, if you need to leave for a moment.
Of course, a dog can be a great companion, but that is only all the more reason to be a responsible pet owner and familiarize yourself with the rules gathered in Ontario’s Dog Owner’s Liability Act. Your dogs, your own and other people’s safety should be a priority to you so ensure it by avoiding difficult situations whenever you can. It’s in everyone’s best interest.