5 Legal Responsibilities Every Dog Owner Should Know

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Having a dog at home comes with several benefits. It can be good for your well-being both physically and emotionally. However, owning a canine isn’t just about making you feel better. As a dog owner, it’s essential to be aware of the laws about dog ownership. Breaking any pet laws in your state can get you into legal trouble.  

legal responsibilities of dog owners
legal responsibilities of dog owners

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Thus, if you want to become a dog owner anytime soon, below are the five legal responsibilities you need to know from the get-go: 

1. Obtaining Dog Licenses  

This is one of the essential legal responsibilities you should keep in mind as a dog owner. In most states, people who have canines at home should obtain a license to ensure their ownership is legal. Failure to do so has consequences. If you’re caught without a license for your dog, you may be charged with a certain amount of fine. Also, when animal control finds your dog in the street without a license, they’ll euthanize it as soon as possible.  

Hence, if you don’t want any of these consequences to happen, make sure to secure a dog license as soon as you own a dog. Doing so can save you any hassles and other legal repercussions of being caught without a dog license.  

2. Familiarizing Yourself With Dog Owner Liability Laws  

There are instances wherein your dog can cause an injury to another person. In such a case, it’s your responsibility as a dog owner to know about the liability laws in your state. Typically, the liability of dog owners may depend on the following rules: 

  • One-bite rule: In states where this liability rule applies, the dog owner isn’t automatically held accountable for the dog’s first bite. The injured victim needs to show proof of the dog’s vicious behavior before the owner can incur liability.  
  • Dog-bite statute: Under this law, the dog owner is automatically responsible for the injuries caused by the canine, with or without provocation on the part of the injured party.  
  • Negligence law: A canine owner can be held accountable if the injury directly results from their negligence. In short, a person can sue the owner if they’ve been careless in controlling their dog, which resulted in significant injuries.   

Hence, if you want to understand better how these laws work, it’s best to browse around this site to get more information. The more you know about these liability laws, the more you can protect yourself from any dog owner liability and other people from dog-bite injuries.  

3. Getting Dog Vaccinations  

Another legal responsibility every dog owner should keep in mind is giving their canine the vaccination they need. Although the vaccination requirements mandated by law vary from one state to another, your dog should be given the rabies vaccine regardless of where you live.  

Rabies can be fatal to the human population. Failure to get your dog vaccinated with an anti-rabies shot can lead to unfavorable outcomes. These can include paying hefty fines and, in extreme cases, jail time. To save yourself from these problems, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian and get your canine vaccinated with anti-rabies and other applicable vaccines.  

4. Keeping The Dog On A Leash  

Typically, leashes are necessary to ensure the safety of dogs from running around and people from dog bites. Although the leash laws differ from state to state, most states require dogs to be leashed when they’re not on their owner’s property.  

This means your canine should have its leash attached when going outside for daily walks. The primary purpose is to ensure your dog is under control at all times, so it can’t harm anyone when you’re in public. However, when you fail to follow the leash laws in your state, you may be mandated to pay fines.  So, it’s best to be responsible enough to keep your dog leashed every time you go for a walk.  

5. Proper Disposing Of Dog’s Wastes When Dropped Anywhere  

Almost all states have pet waste laws in place to ensure dog wastes are disposed of sanitarily when dropped in areas other than the owner’s property. Generally, rules about dog wastes are intended to ensure proper sanitation of the place and prevent diseases from spreading among people and animals.  

So, if you’ve been caught not correctly disposing of your dog’s wastes when dropped in a public place, you may face some legal consequences, including the payment of fines. To avoid this hassle, it’s best if you keep being a responsible owner by bringing a poop bag and cleaning up the wastes on your daily walks.  

Bottom Line  

Taking care of a canine is never easy. Aside from providing its bare necessities, you also need to ensure you’re compliant with the applicable pet laws in your state. By considering the information mentioned above, you can keep up with your legal responsibilities as a dog owner and prevent yourself from getting into trouble.

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