Owning a pet can liven up your household and provide you with endless joy and companionship. However, choosing a dog can be a lengthy process, especially considering the liability that the owner takes on by adopting the pet. Every dog lover can take steps to prevent dog bites and minimize the chances of becoming involved in a lawsuit. Here are some things to consider if you think that you are ready to become a dog owner:
Picking a Breed
Whether you are adopting a shelter dog or buying a puppy from a store, the breed of the dog matters. Remember that certain breeds of dogs may not be allowed by your homeowner’s association or your landlord. Be sure to choose a breed that is known to do well in your specific situation, whether you live alone in an apartment or have a house full of children, and look for a specific dog that exhibits friendly behaviors. Once you obtain a dog, ensure that your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policy covers the pet for liability purposes.
Preparing Your Children
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that you prepare your household for a dog by ensuring that the breed is friendly toward children. The CDC also recommends never leaving a small child or infant alone with a dog. Teach your child how to act safely around a dog, and if your child is uneasy around a particular dog, pick another or delay adopting a dog until your child is older.
If your dog bites a visiting guest, you could be held financially liable for the subsequent medical care. To minimize this risk, train and socialize your dog. If your pet shows any signs of aggressive behavior, take it to a specialist who can show you proper training techniques to prevent possible bites.
Owning a dog is both a great joy and great responsibility. If you live in Illinois and have been bit by a dog, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim against the owner. The Chicago dog bite attorneys of Shea Law Group can help you receive compensation for your pain. Call us today at (773) 365-0040 for more information.