Owning a pet brings joy to many Calgarians, but it’s also a serious responsibility. According to the Globe and Mail, each year an estimated 500,000 dog bites are recorded across Canada, and the majority of victims are children under 10 years of age. No matter how well your dog normally behaves, it’s important to be proactive about pet safety, and to make sure that you have the home insurance necessary in the event of an unexpected dog-related incident or attack in Alberta.
By the Numbers: Dog Bites Are a Common Problem Across Canada
One of the most common misconceptions about dog ownership is that dogs with a “friendly” disposition won’t attack. The truth is that any animal has the capacity to act badly when pushed, and sometimes the triggering events are quite minor. Children are especially vulnerable because they are not always attuned to the warning signs that a dog is agitated.
- In Calgary, a four-year-old boy was attacked and mauled by two large dogs while playing outdoors at home, resulting in serious injuries. The owners of the dogs were cited for the incident.
- A 71-year-old Greenwood Village woman was forced to sell her home after the dog that attacked her was permitted to continue living in the park following the incident. Only her heavy winter clothing prevented serious physical injuries.
- Even the best training does not guarantee safety. An off-duty police canine was responsible for a serious attack in Calgary, chasing a 12-year-old boy into his home. The family is now suing.
- Attacks on other dogs can also result in serious citations for the offending owners, and often have a traumatizing effect on the people who witness them.
Taking the Necessary Steps to Protect Your Pet and Your Home
The risk of a dog attack is real, but so are the steps you can take to protect your home in the event of an incident. Dogs are considered to be the property of the homeowner, so the homeowner is liable if their dog causes personal injury or property damage. Your homeowners insurance is your most important asset if your dog attacks, so it’s important to understand exactly how your policy handles pets.
- While Alberta does not have specified “dangerous breeds,” but insurance companies do have some discretion when it comes to excluding certain breeds. If you own a pit bull, Rottweiler, or German Shepard, you may need to shop a bit more to find the right policy.
- Even if you don’t own a breed that’s normally considered “high-risk,” it’s a good idea to let your insurance company know what type of dog you own. You don’t want any surprises in the event that you need to make a claim.
- If you have questions about dog bite insurance or how owning a dog impacts your home insurance needs in Alberta, speaking with a trusted insurance broker is the best way to find answers.
- Do you enjoy taking your dog on walks in public places or dog parks? Consider umbrella liability insurance, to cover any incidents that happen away from home.
- Many homeowners will find that their home insurance provides adequate protection for dog bites in Alberta. For situations where home insurance won’t suffice, there are pet owner liability policies available.
No matter how friendly you pup happens to be, it only takes one bad moment for things to go wrong. Make sure that you have the necessary home insurance in place, and consider professional training to weed out bad behaviours. Your four-legged friend is more than worth the effort.
Lane’s Insurance Keeps all Your Loved Ones Safe