Man’s best friend is always here for us. But what happens when one goes doggone wild? According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, nearly 85 million dogs live in U.S. households, and about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs yearly. Even nice dogs can bite someone. So how do you protect yourself if your sweet dog goes sour and bites someone?

When purchasing homeowners insurance, you may discover that some companies don’t cover dog bites. Or, if you’re looking to rent an apartment, townhouse, or condo, your landlord may want proof of insurance coverage for your pet.

What is dog liability? Dog liability pays for other people’s injuries and damages when your dog is responsible. You could be liable for some or all of a person’s medical bills if you don’t have enough, or any, dog liability coverage.

It’s unfortunate, but there is nothing you can do to assure that your dog will never bite anyone. Think about it: all dogs have the potential to bite if they feel threatened or scared.

And it’s not just biting you have to worry about. Your dog could accidentally cause someone to trip, fall and get hurt – and dog liability will help cover if that happened.

Remember that some homeowners insurance companies won’t cover certain dog breeds, often excluding aggressive dogs or dogs with a biting history. Please speak to your agent or home insurance company to find out their restrictions.

Here are some tips on how to prevent dog bites from occurring in the first place:
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  • Learn about your dog breed’s natural temperament
  • Have your dog spayed or neutered
  • Before buying or adopting a dog, spend quality time with it
  • Use extra caution when bringing your dog around unfamiliar people, especially children
  • Never approach a strange dog, even if they are on a leash
  • Do not bother a dog while they are eating or sleeping
  • Have your dog attend obedience training

Your precious Fido might be lovable to you, but that doesn’t mean that his instincts may never come out. It’s better to be safe than sorry and purchase or add dog liability to your home insurance.