Should dog owners have to take out third-party insurance?

61% (87 votes)
39% (56 votes)
Total votes: 143

Your Comments

Why penalize every dog owner - people with dangerous dogs will avoid it anyway
More nanny state

This is a silly idea. The people who ignore current legislation about dangerous dogs, or who are irresponsible owners, are highly unlikely to buy this insurance voluntarily, whether compulsory or not. How any people drive without tax or insurance? All it does is penalise the responsible owners. It it must be made compulsory, add it to household insurance as an extension to keep the cost down to a minimum. 

My dog is so small he could not reach a cat to attack!!

Instead of insurance, which only puts more money into the insurance companies coffers, ALL dogs should be muzzled in public. That way there is no arguments and they can be picked up by Police or RSPCA.

This will be avoided by some just like car insurance and road tax

here we go again. When you buy any type of insurance you have to pay a tax on top of the premium. This government are nothing but legal crooks. My friend has a tiny poodle would he need to purchase insurance? Crazy idea and the people who have these dangerous dogs would not have insurance. Anybody caught in public with a dangerous should be locked up with the dog and the key thrown away and the public could view what happens when the dog gets hungry.

As stated, a vast majority of dog owners are responsible owners and live with their pets without incident, this is yet another example of Gorden Brown and his cronies interfering with peoples lives, this is a typical punish all for the crimes of the few ideology, and the few who allow their pets to become a danger are not going to give too hoots about buying insurance, the only thing that this absurd bill will do if passed as law will be to put further burden on the already over taxed household and vastly increase the amount of abandoned or Dogs given to the RSPCA, to the point where thousands will be being destroyed every week because people just can not afford to keep them, the further threat of having to have your dogs tied up or muzzled on your own private property is absolutely abhorrent.



I think everyone should have to declare on their home insurance that they have a dog, then this could be added to their liability insurance.

No dog owner should mind paying this small amount.

The only other way to do this would be to make every dog owner have to license their dogs.

Dog licenses should come back, that is the only way of controlling the problem. The breed should be stated on the licence. All dangerous breeds should be destroyed as they can never be trusted and it gets worse as they get older.

Regarding the suggestion on Dog owners insuring their pets; I believe that dog owners should be required to "chip" their dogs, be made to attend and pass an obedience course (both dog and owner) be limited in the number of animals in their care; Should always have to carry not only poop bags but close crop leads and "if the dog shows any sign of aggresion" a muzzle, I think local councils might find it easier to control incidents of mis behavior by resrtricting Dog exercize areas to specialised routes whic could be controlled by fence or some other means. I also believe that the vast majority of Dog owners take a lot of care in looking after the well being of their pets and it is the minority that cause the majority of the problems. Still Dogs are animals and a child maimed or injured or killed by a dog must be an intolerable act.

I agree, more people will abandon their dogs, the cost of keeping a pet these days with vets bills, food bills etc is getting out of hand and to some people a pet is a lifeline and is all they have in life. For goodness sake lets be sensible about this. The worst offenders will again get off scot free and those who really love their animals will be penalised yet again

obviously not an animal lover .what about dangerous people and children shall we muzzle them as well

Thyis is yet another knee jerk scheme by the government to show to the public that they are doing something even though it wiould be quite ineffective.  It is not that all dogs need a licence but rather that strict enforcement action is taken against the louts who use dogs to express their own aggressive natures. Firm penalties should be applied to those who use dogs in this manner, not tar all dogs with the same brush, Remember there is no such thing as a bad dog but there are bad owners in profusion. I also forsee that enforcement action would be weak in the extreme, the RSPCA would say it is not their problem and the police would put dog licence checking to the bottom of their priorities. In other words there would be no enforcement action.

I see 1000's of stray dogs on the streets if this becomes law, many households with dogs are elderly (for the company) or low-income families (many on benefits) neither of which could easily pay an extra cost - many will either hand their dog into the RSPCA or other animal charities (and swamp them, costing them £1000's), have a perfectly good dog put to sleep or simply remove any i.d off their collar and let them out into the streets.

The scum that use dogs as 'macho' statements or train them to fight will simply not insure them anyway......

The government would love to push this legislation through because they get a cut of all insurance premiums through the Insurance Premium Tax - yet another tax on a country that is amongst the most heavily taxed in the world!

Bring back dog licences

Oh, what a daft idea.
There is a problem with a minority of dogs and their owners.
The Authorities know who they are and could deal with them now if
the wanted to.
Instead, we have an expensive idea proposed that would cost dog owners millions,
would need thousands of new Civil Servants to administer it and like most balmy
laws would not be enforced anyway.
If this country needs to cut back on its expenditure during this recession
then poinless new legislation is a good place to start.
Roll on the General Election and hopefully a goodbye to Gordon Brown.

Another nail in the coffin of freedom. The hoodies with dogs will not conform with the legislation and the police will not confront them unless they have adequate back up so it's the law abiding public who will bear the cost once again. Of course our Gordon will help himself to a bit more tax as well.

No, no, no!  This will make no difference at all to the problem of bad owners.  Existing legislation against them should be enforced.  The good owners should be left in peace.  A great many of them are elderly and a dog may be their only companion.  Why tax them for keeping a pet for company, for this is what it amounts to.  When will the powers that be stop chipping away at our individual freedom and start resolving the issues that truly matter?

The majority will have to pay because of the disgraceful behaviour of the minority.  The police should have more powers to deal with this matter.  A dog wanders around near my home and although it is clearly frightened due to ill treatment, it has on occasion gone on the attack.  The police have been called many times to deal with the dog's menacing behaviiour, but apparently they can do nothing until he actually bites someone.  No wonder insurance is being put forward as an idea, but the problem should be dealt with before  it gets to the stage where a dog bites.  By all means bring in compulsory dog chipping, as owners can then be traced and made to pay the price.  This idea will mean even more dogs ending up in already overfull dog homes because there will be many people who just cannot afford this insurance, particularly the elderly (many of whom have companion animals) and the unemployed.  Another stupid idea from a stupid government that gets more stupid as each day passes.

Hear hear! Keep the insurance to certain breeds.
How would they enforce this anyway? I see a lot of people allowing their dogs to foul in public places and nothing is being done to uphold the law on this??!

Chipping or insuring dogs will NOT stop them Killing Kids.

The Police 'Confiscating Dogs' might help a little, especially if these dogs were locked in same cells as repeat habitual offenders.

Most Attacks are on the owner's extended family and so might prevent the procreation of guests on the Jeremy Kyle Show .

Other parents will be reassured, 'Don't worry Mrs Bloggs, the dog  that has just Torn your baby limb from limb is well insured and microchipped'!!

As for postmen, they are 'Wimps' these days, not like the old 'Monty Python' style Postmen, Lose a leg? to them it was nothing.

In time, unchecked, these Dogs might reduce the numbers of benefit claimants during the recession, indeed the social benefits might result in all party manifestoes, except perhaps the Fascists, as supporting their contribution to post recession Britain.

[The Fascists would favour their use in society if they can be bred to only attack immigrants.]


Arthurian & His Doggy 'Byron' [Mad, Bad & Dangerous to know.] 

[Byron was a 'Pit Bull Type' under the legislation enacted to deal with Arthur Scargill]

But home insurance isn't compulsory...............!

Should have to pay insurance definitely!!

Should also have to pay a pavement/park tax to clean up the mess their irresponsible owners allow them to leave on our pavements and parks!! Where else in the world do you see so much 'dog muck' ???

I don't know what all the fuss is about, surely most responsible dog owners already have insurance. Most policies I've read already include public liability!

 a few months ago i was out walking my dog and as i walked pass an elderly lady walking a terrier type dog and as i got passed them her dog jumped up and bite me on the back of the leg, i was not to bad but i still need to go to hospital to have it checked and cleaned, and to have a tetanus injection. she said that it was going for my dog which is a rhodesian ridgeback.

i would not mind paying for insurance, but  as for a lot of you saying it is dangerous dogs at fault but all dogs are dangerous.


This is just another Gimmick. Those leathernecks with attack dogs will continue to sport them and will not pay any insurance or pay to have chips put in them. Its a bit like knife amnesties. It looks good as joe public hands in various knifes. But the criminal element won't hand them in anymore than they will guns.
however it looks like another good revenue earner for the treasury, like speed camera's.

Oh great - just when I've decided that being able to feed my toddler will have to take priority over insuring my dog, and I'll have to use the PDSA instead, they plan on making it compulsory! Seriously, though, it's not fair to say that if people can't afford a dog they shouldn't have one - people's financial situations can change so rapidly these days, as ours did, and as others here have said making insurance compulsory or bringing back the dog licence will just result in lots of dogs being given to overstretched rehoming centres or abandoned. Making microchipping compulsory sounds fair enough, as it's a one-off fee that can just be budgeted for adding to the cost of the purchase of the dog, although I know that some people's dogs have had health problems with the chip migrating. Perhaps for this reason they should accept tattooing as an alternative.

i feel that most people should be muzzled in public and not the dogs - not in favour of third party insurance and my own dog is micro-chipped; the peopple woth the dangerous dogs would not get insurance cos no money and usually are ignorant and illiterate;
it would be nice of all dog owners kept their dogs on leads though cos i dont want to be bothered by anyone or any dog whilst out walking mine;

How insensitive to say these things,dog licences will not be brought back as no one would buy them, it would not be fesible for the government to track people with dogs as they are simply bust, i trust you do not own a dog

I think the idea of insurance is unenforceable and yet again law abiding people will be it with those who the law is aimed at get away scot free.

I own three Border Collies one of which is a rescue. I re-homed him as he could not be trusted with small children. I ensure he is muzzled when appropriate in the company of children as it is he who is frightened of them. I do not believe he would bite now as he has become a happy contented dog, where as previously he did not have enough to do but had a busy mind. I take no chances! I have another who loves children so much that she would not even react if a child hurt her. All dogs are different even within the same breed!

I would love to see it law that all owners had to prove a certain level of control and understanding of dogs before being allowed to have one. A bit like having to pass a driving test. Unfortunately there will still be the minority who will not abide by the law. However at least in this case the law abider's will have gained knowledge and understanding. Hopefully dogs will be better cared for so there won't be accidental mistreatment of our canine friends.

Very few dogs attack without provocation or warning - as people we are often ignorant to the warning signs that many dogs are screaming out before these events.

every dog can turn on anyone at any time just like adults can turn it is the way people and animals are strange world i do not think there is a solution

When cyclists get insurance & some sort of road tax to pay, as in my book they are just as dangerous for your well being as a dog!

Then & only then should it be compulsory for all dog owners to get insurance.

I agree all dogs should get micro chipped so if they get lost or dumped the owners can be traced.

I personally have always paid for insurance for my dog even though I get my vet fees covered ( except for yearly jabs ) for nothing due to be being disabled.

I pay for the insurance for the fact of him straying or accidentally nipping a child or adult etc, none of which has happened in 5 years since we have had him as a pup. He gets on like a house on fire with my 2 year old daughter.He is so so laid back. Choc lab if your wondering.

Dog licencing would be a great idea.  A test to show you have the knowledge to be a responsible dog owner and an additional licence to have more than one dog.  All dogs should be microchipped.  In France it is illegal to sell a puppy whos parents do not have microchips and all dogs on the dangerous dogs list are required to wear a muzzle in a public place. There are also breeds that are not allowed in France.  More education on the right breed for your circumstances and lifestyle would also be great.  If you live in a small property your dog should be appropriate for the space available.

The government proposals would penalise the responsible dog owners and do nothing to curb the problem.

Perhaps if we declare owning a dog on our home insurance this will be seen as a deterrent to criminals and the insurance companies will reward us with a reduction in our premiums!!

jrbeaumont it is another way the goverment will make money out of the genuine people,who look after there dogs.The others will just ignor it and carry on as they usually do.Why does the goverment ban all these type of dogs.There is plenty of other breeds if people realy want a pet.

Where else do you see a lot of dog poo ? ......................... France, Greece. In France it is a tradition.

I don't understand what all the fuss is about over this proposed new law. It’s just a poor diversion attempt from the real issues bugging this country.

If I remember correctly, there was a law passed in the early 1970s which made every dog owner liable for damage or injuries caused by their animal. However, then they didn't take this last step of making it a legal requirement on owners of dogs to have insurance at that time.

Nevertheless, insurance companies took that on board and included cover for this type of risk under the Public/Family liability section of domestic insurance policies. Therefore there is a very strong chance that any household who have their domestic home contents insured will also have the necessary cover without having to buy it separately.

Now lets see a change in the law were cat owners are made to be more responsible. My veg garden and the wild birds in my garden are often decimated by neighbourhood cats but no such problems are caused by the responsible dog owners.




When I was in 'Cloud Cuckoo Land' [where they have laws regarding Chipping Dogs' and Making the owner take out 'Dead Child Insurance], Following an attack our much loved baby son & heir was 'Torn Asunder' by a big vicious dog, it was a great comfort to us both, [Especially his mother] to know that the perpetrator was 'Chipped & Pinned' and that we would in due course receive 'Re-Imbursement' for the Child from the Rabid Doggy Insurance Company.[At Lloyds]

Parliament HERE needs to 'Rush in' further half-baked legislation as soon as possible like they did in answer to the problem last time it presented itself..

Members of the general public do not need to fear too much in the meanwhile however, as the majority of these attacks are 'Blue on Blue' [i.e. The Vicious Dog in question usually only kills a child within it's OWN family and that is plainly the guilty child's fault for being born into such a lot of 'Totally Irresponsible' Fools.]


As most people have said this is a barmy idea, unworkable, unenforceable, etc. Bringing back a dog licence is a sensible idea but then again the people who 'use' these types of dog are not going to buy or pay for anything' So lets put the money into enforcement and get these people and their dogs off the street. Perhaps a change in legislation might be required and to re-define what a dangerous dog is in the dangerous dogs act to avoid any loopholes. Bottom line it is not the fault of the dog but the idiot who either tain them to do things or use them as a status symbol. Rant over!

It's not just biting that is a problem, if a pet strays and causes a crash, the owner is liable. If you own a pet, be it a horse or a dog get insurance or be prepared to loose your house!

The French system might be the answer here. In France, homeowners are legally obliged to insure their homes/houses. The insurance automatically includes third party insurance against possible claims against your dog-even if you do not have one.
I think it is a possible solution
Phillip James in France

This was a sensible response EXCEPT if a dog is aggressive it should NOT be 'Re-homed' as this passes the problem elsewhere.

Aggressive dogs SHOULD [At the least] be neutered, though IDEALLY Euthanised.

Re-Homing is passing the buck, a potententially LETHAL Buck.

Children / human safety is/are more important than Dogs. EVEN IN Britain.


How would you police this? and at hows cost! tax payer who do not have a dog or any pet?

'Re-Legalise' Hunting but only for Hoodies & Pit Bull Type Dogs. [As 'Fox Substiyutes, Not Hunters]

Did anyone 'Notice' out there?

Today a 'Young MAN' [I use the latter term loosely] was convicted together with his dog 'Tyson' [Who was, incidentally dear readers 'Chipped'] BOTH where Convicted of the Stabbing/murder of another youth, Police are seeking to have Tyson Killed in a case that seems reminiscent of a well known case in the fifties. [Only one perpetrator is likely to die.] 

Tyson was brought to justice by reference to his 'D.N.A.' and the fact he was 'Chipped'.

It is unclear if  dog insurance was in situ, however plainly this had NO beneficial effect towards the fatally stabbed victim as the human part of the offending duo was not insured. 

I suggest that the 'Wrong' half of the duo is mooted for BOTH insurance and death. Clearly 'Tyson' was in bad company and was clearly led astray.

The law is clearly 'NOT even handed' in the punishment handed down by judges, the more so considering Tyson's relative youth & lack of opportunity since conception.


There should be a name for people with views like yours...., I suggest Home Secretary, or Justice Minister.

All dogs owners should be made to whether it be an insurance cost or a license (which is what they used to have). It is the responsibility of the dog owner to ensure that there dog does not attack just because it feels like it. We have to remember that dogs are actually wild animals and never stray from there natural instinct.

No my pet dogs have never caused any problems in there lives. I have had at least one dog in my life since childhood and not one of them has been involved in anything which would involve insurance.  If the goverment push ahead with this animals will be made suffer as usual and the bangers with the dangerous dogs will ignore the law and carry on regardless.  Why would I have to insure my dog?  What good will it do?  Will being insured stop a dog biting someone?

that is not necessarily true, i have a dog that is considered a 'dangerous dog' and she is fine. It is the way they are brought up, I don't believe that any dog should be destroyed! This is cruelty to animals, they do not get worse as they get older.


Didn't they get rid of the dog licence as it was more expensive to administer than the revenue it achieved???  The idea of insurance for dogs is ludicrous as irresponsible people will ignore it just like they will not tax or insure their cars etc etc....  So, yet again, this government is seeking to rip off the responsible, considerate members of society and do nothing to police the ones who don't pay compulsory insurances or other taxes.. etc, etc!! 

I'm surprised about the laws in France? It may well be the law but whenever I go over there they seem very relaxed about their dogs to the point of neglect. A lot of them have mange and fleas good thing about their lax attitude though is that the dogs although always off lead stick like glue to their owners because if they don't they are simply left behind!

License will not solve a thing and the good old RSPCA will ensure they get their wedge. The RSPCA reckon that 76% of dog owners want the license back, well don't know who they asked but no one I know that's for sure