The American Veterinary Medical Association reported in 2013 that Texas ranked ninth out of all U.S. states for dog ownership, with around 44 percent of Texan households owning at least one dog.

In addition to the large number of dogs inside private residences, that means there’s also a large number of dogs in public spaces. Whether you’re at the park, walking downtown, or even at work, there’s a good chance you’ll see multiple dogs.

While most dogs are docile and have no history of aggression or biting, it’s important to remember that dogs can lash out at others, even when they’re not provoked. That’s why it’s up to dog owners to take the proper precautions to stop that from happening.

In Texas, dog owners should:

  • Keep their dogs on leashes when they’re in public—Dogs should never be allowed to roam freely in public spaces. Local ordinances require that dogs always be kept on leashes of a certain length and that their owners remain in control of their leashes. Bites are more common when dogs are off their leashes, as they are significantly more difficult to control.
  • Keep their dogs in enclosures during private functions—Dogs also shouldn’t be allowed to freely roam during private functions in open air spaces or indoor areas, such as homes and businesses. Owners are responsible for making sure their dogs are kept away from others to eliminate the possibility of bites or attacks.

If you or someone you love was hurt by a dog, you may be eligible to file a claim for compensation. Experienced Texas dog bite lawyers can help you maximize your chances of getting the money you deserve.