During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people chose to adopt a pet to counteract their feelings of isolation and loneliness. But as the majority of employees returned to work, many dog owners struggled with leaving their pets behind. In response to this struggle, many businesses adopted pet policies, allowing workers to bring their dogs and other pets to the office. But is this new pet-friendly workplace trend really safe?
In this article, we will take a look at the many benefits associated with having dogs and other pets in the workplace but explore the downside – and possible dangers of bringing your dog to work.
If you were bitten or injured by a dog in Ohio or would like more information about the effects of dogs in the workplace, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Ohio’s leading dog bite injury attorneys at Slater & Zurz. Call (888) 534-4850 to speak with one of our dog bite lawyers for FREE.
Statistics on Dogs in the Workplace
According to the ASPCA, one in five American households adopted a pet during the COVID-19 pandemic, which translates to 23 million households. And although many pet owners were met with a dilemma when returning to the office, more than 90% of households who adopted a “pandemic pet” still have their pet and are not considering the notion of rehoming them.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 9% of U.S. employers currently allow employees to bring their dogs and other pets to work. The overall result? Most employers and employees are loving it. In fact, employers such as Amazon, Uber, and Google say they plan to continue their dog-friendly policies indefinitely.
The Benefits of Bringing Your Dog to Work
Those of us with dogs know the joy they bring to our lives. But how do they impact our lives at work? Below are some of the biggest advantages – and disadvantages of taking your dog to work.
- Having your pet at work helps to reduce your stress and the stress of those around you. Petting a dog can quickly and effectively calm us down and improve our mood. Simply seeing a dog is known to bring a smile to our faces and reduce feelings of anxiety.
- Being able to bring your dog to work helps save you time and money. You don’t have to rush home on your lunch to let them out or pay the costs of dog-walking or dog-sitting services.
Allowing staff to bring their dogs to work also offers a significant advantage for employers. Implementing a pet-friendly policy is considered a big employee perk and can even sway a sought-after prospective employee to choose one job position over another.
Although many perks are attributed to taking your pet to work, there are some disadvantages. They can create a distraction for you and other employees and cause trouble with employees who do not like pets, are allergic to pets, or don’t want them in the workplace. But most importantly, a widely ignored issue with taking your dog to work is the potential for danger, as we will detail next.
Why Bringing Your Dog to Work Can Be Dangerous
Over 4.5 million dog bites are reported each year in the U.S., according to the CDC, and approximately 2% of those happen in the workplace.
Although the majority of the time, dogs are our best friends and a source of love and affection. However, we tend to forget they can also be dangerous when provoked – and often due to a provocation we are unaware of. Because of their extremely strong jaw and sharp teeth, dogs can quickly and easily cause a lot of harm, such as deep lacerations and muscle and tissue damage.
There are also times when people are injured by a dog but not as a result of a bite or attack. Dogs can knock people over or cause them to trip, which can lead to broken bones or even serious brain injuries.
Dog Bite Injuries
Below is a list of the most common harm and injuries caused by dogs and other large pets.
- Puncture wounds
- Nerve damage
- Serious infections
- Muscle and tendon damage
- Broken bones
- Hearing and vision loss
- Face and neck injuries
- Loss of limb/Amputations
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Fear of animals
- Emotional trauma
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
What to Do If You Are Bitten by a Dog at Work
Dog bites can be very serious. So, if you or someone you know is bitten or injured by a dog at work, it is important to take a few critical steps to ensure your health and safety and protect your rights. After a dog-related injury, our dog bite lawyers recommend doing the following:
- Notify the dog owner and your employer immediately. If you are a business visitor or customer, notify management immediately.
- Request a copy of the written report from your employer or the manager.
- Ask the dog owner for their contact information and the dog’s vaccination record. If they don’t have it, ask whether the dog is fully vaccinated and/or ask for the veterinarian’s contact information.
- Seek medical attention right away. If you are unsure of the dog’s vaccination status, be sure to tell the doctor so they can treat it accordingly.
- Keep any records of medical treatment and all medical bills.
- Document your injuries. Take pictures of the injuries right after the incident and continue to take photos throughout the healing process.
- Contact our dog bite lawyer. To learn more about your rights and legal options, speak to a personal injury lawyer with extensive experience representing dog bite injury cases.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Top Dog Bite Lawyer in Ohio
For over 32 years, our team of dog bite lawyers has protected the rights of injured victims and has worked in our community to raise dog bite awareness and provided tips to prevent dog attacks. For more information on dog bite prevention or how to secure compensation following a serious dog bite injury, contact the personal injury law firm Slater & Zurz. We offer FREE no-obligation consultations and have offices across Ohio, including Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, and Toledo, to assist you. Feel free to contact us online or call (888) 534-4850 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.