Learn How to Stay Safe When Working as a Dog Walker in California
It may seem like a perfect fit: You love dogs and dog owners need their dogs walked – become a dog walker. While this can be a great side job or even a full-time position, it is important to know how to stay safe.
The truth is that dog bites are more common and more serious than anyone would like. Keep reading to find out how you can stay safer while doing this job. If you are injured, contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 to request a free legal consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Understand the Risks Associated with Dog Walking
First and foremost, it is important to know what risks are associated with this professional. First, you can be bitten by a dog. This can happen even if the dog is friendly and even if you have met them a dozen times before – dogs are always capable of biting. Likewise, you could be bitten by a dog you and the dog you are walking come into contact with. Do not approach a dog you do not know without asking their owner if it is safe to do so.
You are also in danger at intersections. Nearly one in four of all fatal traffic accidents, and half of all traffic injuries, happen in intersections. Be alert for vehicles that could be coming from all directions when you are crossing the street. Be aware as well that many drivers are distracted and not looking for people crossing the street or walking down the street. Dusk and dawn are the two most dangerous times to walk.
You May or May Not Be Covered by an Insurance Policy if You Are Bitten by a Dog While Working
Generally speaking, if you are bitten by a dog then the owner of the dog is liable for the injury – even if the dog has never bitten someone before and they had no reason to know their dog would bite. The main exception to this rule is that if the dog was on private property and the victim of the bite was trespassing, then the owner cannot be found liable for the injuries.
However, people in certain situations may not be covered. This includes veterinarians. The law holds that vets have taken on a certain amount of risk by choosing their professions and that they agree that being bitten is an accepted risk for their professional. Does this apply to dog walkers? Maybe – it depends on whether or not the dog owner knew their dog had a history of violence or biting and neglected to tell the dog walker. In that event, the owner can still be found liable.
Have you been bitten by a dog while walking them in a professional capacity? If so, contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at
for a free legal consultation. We can help you understand what your legal rights are.