Dog bites dog - who pays vet bill?

(28 Posts)
FlossthePlaygroundBoss Wed 17-Oct-18 22:18:20

Not sure of the etiquette here.

Was walking my dog off lead on country footpath. Another dog came along for some mutual bottom sniffing - then sunk its teeth into my dog.

Should the owners of the bitey dog pay my vet bill?

OP’s posts: |
PositivelyPERF Wed 17-Oct-18 22:19:52

Yes, absolutely. Are they making excuses to get out of it?

Clearthinking Wed 17-Oct-18 22:21:09

Yes! They should. One bit mine cost 90 something quid!

FlossthePlaygroundBoss Wed 17-Oct-18 22:33:17

I've not contacted them about the bill yet but I will in the morning.

Thanks for replies. I'm really pissed off about it.

OP’s posts: |
Hoppinggreen Wed 17-Oct-18 22:35:50

Were both on leads?
When my dog was bitten Petplan asked for the details of the other dog so they could attempt to recover some of the costs.
I said I didn’t have them ( I knew the owners well) a sil didn’t actually blame them at all and they did offer to pay the excess

FlossthePlaygroundBoss Wed 17-Oct-18 22:42:19

Both off lead.
Don't blame the owners, or their dog for that mater. Just pissed off that my gentle dog was hurt. Hope she doesn't lose her confidence.

OP’s posts: |
CallMeRachel Wed 17-Oct-18 22:44:49

Absolutely yes they are liable to pay costs for an injury their dog caused.

Perhaps they'll also dig deep and buy a muzzle too.


Chanelprincess Wed 17-Oct-18 22:48:21

The owner should pay. I was left with a £600 billl when my dog was badly bitten by a dog on its lead with an owner who wasn't paying attention. I later found out the same dog had attacked at least two other dogs in similar situations.

Screamqueenz Wed 17-Oct-18 23:42:34

As long as as your dog is on lead you're fine.

Screamqueenz Wed 17-Oct-18 23:43:51

Chanel, how did your dog get close if they were both on lead?

FlossthePlaygroundBoss Wed 17-Oct-18 23:47:15

My dog wasn't on lead. Neither was the bitey one.

OP’s posts: |
HarrietSchulenberg Thu 18-Oct-18 00:06:41

My dog bit another one when both playing off lead. We went 50/50 as both dogs were off lead.

Chanelprincess Thu 18-Oct-18 08:25:11


We passed each other on a footpath next to a playground. The woman was pushing a pushchair and concentrating on her other child and the dog was strong and lunged at mine taking a deep bite at his stomach.

Greyhorses Thu 18-Oct-18 09:38:21

I would say if both dogs are off lead I would chalk it up to one of those things.

If yours was on lead then the off lead dogs fault.

Failingat40 Thu 18-Oct-18 10:55:43

What a load of bollocks being spouted on this thread.

No one should be liable in any way if their dog has been bitten by an aggressive dog while being offlead ffs!! Being offlead doesn't make it okay to be attacked!!

Owners are 100% responsible morally and financially for their dogs. If their dog hurts and causes injury to another dog, whether the victim dog is on or offlead, the attack dogs' owners are 100% liable for damages.

FlossthePlaygroundBoss Thu 18-Oct-18 11:04:21

Yes, I don't get what my gentle hound was doing wrong, ambling alongside a country lane off lead. A more boisterous but seemingly friendly dog came over and they were having a sociable sniff of each other when the other dog barked and bit mine. I had to use my walking stick to get it off.

"Oh, he's never done that before" said the owners.

OP’s posts: |
Jeippinghmip Thu 18-Oct-18 11:06:02

Yes, the owner of the dog that bit should pay. This happened to my dog and I made sure the owners of the other dog paid.

whateveryousay Thu 18-Oct-18 16:41:04

To those who are saying the owners of the biter are always liable, whether on lead or off.....
What if I have my reactive dog on lead, and focussing on me, and then another uncontrolled off-lead dog comes and gets in his face? I have had a few near misses where I’ve called to others that mine is not friendly, but they can’t recall their dogs. Surely it wouldn’t be my fault then? Or would it?

PennyArcade Thu 18-Oct-18 21:12:31

If an owner of an off lead dog sees a dog on lead then the owner should put his/her dog on lead to pass the on lead dog. (Otherwise they risk having their dogs face bitten off by a reactive dog 😱).

In the case of OP both dogs were off lead. There was nothing to suggest to OP that she needed to leash her dog. Off lead dogs are considered to be friendly, and usually are.

Again, nobody can blame the dog. It's the owners who are at fault. Why do people insist on leaving their aggressive, reactive dogs off lead?

I hope you are able to claim your vets fees back from the irresponsible dog owner OP. And they learn to keep their dog on lead in future. I hate irresponsible dog owners 😡

CallMeRachel Fri 19-Oct-18 00:54:28

@whateveryousay then you are guilty of being in charge of a dog which you know will bite. If you have a reactive dog then it's your responsibility to prevent him from being able to hurt another dog!! Ie get it muzzled!

It's not everyone else's responsibility to tip toe round these reactive dogs! Whilst walking out in public in busy areas frequented by dog walkers at least have the common sense to yellow lead up and avoid others and if you can't do that then your dog needs muzzled.

whateveryousay Fri 19-Oct-18 06:52:47

Incredibly patronising to assume I don’t have the ‘common sense’ to use a tellow lead. Of course I do.
And I disagree that my dog should be muzzled. He is not at all reactive to people, and is only reactive to dogs in his personal space. Therefore, if others have the ‘common sense’ to keep their uncontrolled dogs away from one in a yellow harness ans lead, who is under close control, then all should be fine!

Pissedoffdotcom Fri 19-Oct-18 07:06:05

Why should on lead dogs have to be muzzled because other idiots can't control their own dogs? I never muzzled mime after he got attacked because he couldn't defend himself. Being on lead is a very clear signal to other owners regardless of whst colour it is. If your dog is obedient you can keep it away...if it isn't then it shouldn't be off lead.

OP the other side should pay but you might struggle sadly. The 'hes never done that before' line is usually trotted out by people whose dog does it frequently ime

Greyhorses Fri 19-Oct-18 07:38:06

Being off lead doesn’t make it okay to be attacked however it does complicate matters legally and make it less likely that an insurance company would be able to make someone pay as its not cut and dry. If one dog is on lead and therefore under control then the off lead dog is always at fault as it shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

My dogs are friendly but I don’t allow them to approach any dog I don’t know for this exact reason. It’s not acceptable for off lead dogs to run up to an on lead dog under any circumstances so if mine did and got bitten then I would accept that as my failing to protect them and not the fault of the dog on lead who’s owner was trying to keep it away from others.

PennyArcade Sun 21-Oct-18 00:19:20

I allow my dogs to have an off lead runaround where its safe to do so. If I see an on lead dog approaching I put my dogs on lead (because not to do so may end up with one of them having their faces ripped off by a dog who is on lead because he is not friendly).

I have never encountered a nasty off lead dog until today. I was walking my 18 month and 5 month old dogs through a well known dog walking area (miles of grassland and a river). We met several dogs on lead. Each time I either put my dogs on lead or took them off the path and had them wait (with a treat to their nose) until the other dog had passed. (I am training my 5 month old to ignore other dogs and people). All went well. We met a few friendly, off lead dogs and, as usual, my dogs had a run around with them.

Along comes a bloke with 2 dogs, off lead. As usual I call out to ask if his dogs are friendly. Yes, no problem, he replies. I took this as an opportunity to allow my dogs (the puppy really, as the older dog already knows to pass other dogs unless I give her the OK to play) to greet the dogs, briefly, and move on. My puppy did his usual thing of scampering towards the other dog, to within about 10 feet, and then rolling on his back, in the submissive pose. One of the dog's ran at him and had a go. There was a lot of noise.. With the other dog growling and barking and trampling and snapping at my pup and my puppy screaming.

I had no choice than to get between them and pick the pup up, with the other dog still snarling and growling. His owner made no effort to intervene and, afterwards, said, "I don't know why he did that. He's never done that before". He was concerned about the puppy though and stayed whilst I checked him over. Luckily there were no puncture wounds.

Maybe this was the first time his dog has shown aggression toward another dog. I don't know. But I hope the owner doesn't allow his dog off lead around other dogs again. One show of aggression is enough. If it were my dog I would bring in a behaviourist.

Luckily my puppy wasnt seriously injured. It has bound to have set him back on his socialisation though. So back to square one we go.

PLEASE, if any dog owners do not know how their dog is going to respond to another dog please put it on a lead when passing other dogs. That gives other dog owners a clue that your dog is on a lead for a reason and they will, or should, leash their dogs to pass. It may save ££££'s in vet fees too.

BiteyShark Sun 21-Oct-18 07:18:42

I no longer let my dog greet any off lead dogs. He gets his doggy fix with his pals at daycare but otherwise we keep a wide berth if I spot a dog in the distance. As he only wants to play ball with me and isn't interested in other dogs now it's easy to keep him close and move away.

As for etiquette my personal opinion is that if a dog attacks mine and both off lead the other dog is at fault. If mine was off lead and ran up to an onlead dog and that onlead dog attacked my dog then I am at fault. If both are onlead and the other dog attacked mine then I would say the other dog is at fault.

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