I don’t know if anyone but our clients knows, but SILVERMARK specializes in writing insurance for Pet Care Services. I bring that up now as I read two separate articles this morning directly related to pets. Both of the articles are warnings, one to dogs, the other to people. First, the warning to dogs:

MSN web page, under “popular searches: lifestyle” search: Pets & distracted driving. In it the author wrote: “In addition to texting or talking on a cell phone while driving, lap dogs and other pets left unrestrained inside moving vehicles pose a major distraction that could be deadly, according to a new study. Two-thirds of dog owners surveyed by AAA said they ROUTINELY (my cap) drive while petting or playing with their dogs, sometimes even giving them food or water while maneuvering through traffic.” AAAERGH. Leave a pet unrestrained, go 70 miles an hour, stop fast and watch Rover become a missile out the front window?! I understand people treating pets like children. What I don’t understand, then, is NOT treating pets like children. Strap the kids in but let the animals jump around, barking, disrupting, breaking the drivers concentration and being squished between the driver and the steering wheel after a fast stop? And these are the drivers who lllllooooovvvveeee their pets? Nope, don’t get it.

Article number two: The Seattle Times, Thursday August 19, 2010 2nd page, Newsline, ODDS & ENDS: “ Dog bites: Dog bites cost US home insurers 6.4 percent more in 2009 than in the prior 12 months, with the average claim EXCEEDING (my cap) $24,000 for the third straight year, the Insurance Information Institute said Wednesday.” You pay $500 to $1,500 for your homeowners insurance. Your dog bites someone and for that one claim the insurance company has to pay out $24,000.+ Then, the same dog bites someone the next year for another $24,000+ claim. Do the math: You have the policy for two years, pay $1,000 and the company pays out $48,000 in claims. People wonder why they lose their homeowners insurance. I think Fido need another round of behavior school, or a nice quiet home in the country…….far away from people. Either that or start saving so you can pay for the next bite yourself.

As far as I’m concerned, both of these articles point the finger at the pet care giver, not the pet. Take the time and the money to train and restrain the dog safely and properly. You will both be happier.