For nearly the past 20 years, there has been a “Take Your Dog to Work Day” where proud pet owners are encouraged to bring their furry friends to work.  The group, Pet Sitters International kicked this event off in 1999 which has brought a flood of furry assistants to the workplace to celebrate our four-legged family members.  There are also work places where the business owner or the company has a regular in office dog to help create a more relaxed and family like culture and others yet who may have a dog on premise for security purposes.  While having dogs at the workplace can be a wonderful thing, it is important to remember that any dog can be unpredictable or have a bad day resulting in unintended consequences of a bite or other physical event leading to an injury accident at work.

Dogs at the Workplace
Dogs at the Workplace

If you are going to bring a dog to work or if you are one of the many business who have dogs as regular office mates, here are a few pointers that can help make the experience a positive one and avoid a lawsuit due to bad behavior on the part of “man’s best friend”.

  • Apply some common sense out of the gate. If your dog is a behavior problem and does not obey orders like sit, stay or no, then it is an ill advise decision to introduce this pet to co-workers.
  • Similarly, if your dog has interaction or socialization issues with new people or other dogs you need to be wary about inserting a dog with these issues into a cornucopia of opportunity for issues.
  • There are certain breeds as well that present additional risk as they inherently aggressive such as Rottweilers, Doberman, German Shepard and epically Pit Bulls. These breeds tend to have the worst statistics when it comes to dog bite incidents.
  • Be sensitive to the fact that some of your co-workers or employees may have issues with dogs. Some people just don’t like dogs and others may be afraid of them due to a bad experience with a dog, in particular some of the breeds mentioned above which can be physically intimidating to people with these feelings.
  • If you have a dog in the office, whether for a “dog” day at the office or as a regular guest, keep the animal under control. Don’t permit the pet to roam freely as they might get hurt or startled by an unsuspecting worker and defend themselves by biting.
  • Bring items to your office that will help to make your pet more comfortable such as a favorite bone or toy that will allow the dog to entertain itself and be less likely to wander off looking for a reluctant playmate.

No responsible dog owner ever wants to see their pet attack and bite someone and create an injury.  It is an important note that as a dog owner, under Arizona Law, you are personally liable if your pet does bite and injure another.  Before you have pets in the office, apply common sense and if there are co-workers that have issues with dogs, talk to them before considering permitting dogs at work.  Finally, make sure that you know what to do in the unfortunate event that a dog at the office ends up biting someone.  A little common sense can make a pet at work a positive thing and mitigate the risk of you finding a lawsuit coming your way.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident and injured, you have our deepest concern and sympathy.  Contact us at Accident Law Group to get a complete assessment of your case.  We built our firm to help you build fight and win your case and make sure the rights you have under the law are protected.

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