Hiring a pet sitter is a good idea if you’re too busy with work or business and can’t attend to your pets. You can leave your furry friends to a dog sitter in a schedule so that your pet is fed, groomed and is taken for walks. Also, hiring a pet sitter increases your pet’s communication skills and emotional well-being because someone is always available to play and interact with them.
However, there are also liabilities of using a dog sitter, and these things make up the topic for today’s article. In this post, you’ll learn the importance of hiring a dog sitter with insurance and seeking a dog bite lawyer’s help if faced with a dog bite charge.
Your Pet Bites the Dog Sitter
As a responsible pet owner, you have to observe your dog for signs of aggressiveness. And if you know that your dog is difficult to handle and becomes mischievous or dangerous, you’re liable to his actions, such as your dog biting the sitter.
Yes, you’re liable if your dog bites and dog sitters who are already aware of the proclivity of a dog for violence also carry partial liability. If the dog sitter somehow provokes your dog or becomes negligent, then the sitter has partial liability for a dog bite.
Your Dog Bites Another Person Under a Sitter’s Care
Another liability of entrusting your dog to a dog walker or a pet sitter is if your dog bites your neighbor or a stranger on the road while under the care of the sitter. If the dog sitter doesn’t have insurance, you might need to pay some sort of compensation to the victim as the owner of the dog and may face legal obligations even if your dog was not under your care at that time.
That’s why it’s important to choose a pet sitter who has liability insurance. Pet sitters are usually independent contractors, even if they’re working for pet care companies.
Because you can never tell if your dog gets angry and becomes likely to bite, it’s best to keep yourself protected by choosing a pet sitter who has liability insurance. This is necessary because it usually covers bodily injuries to the pet sitter and the third-party, and care negligence.
Personal Injury Claim
What if your pet bites the dog sitter in a pet care facility? Are you liable for the dog bite? The answer is yes if negligence is proven on your part.
In California, anyone who works with pets, like dog sitters, assumes a certain risk level, which is legally termed as the Veterinarian’s Rule. That’s why the guarantees provided by pet care facilities usually don’t cover dog sitter’s injuries. It means that this job would entail caring for pets even without a full understanding of how the animal behaves.
That’s why, as a responsible pet owner, it’s important to orient the dog sitter of the things that makes your dog stressed or anxious to prevent being accused of negligence.
If the dog sitter files a personal injury claim or lawsuit, it’s important to hire a dog bite lawyer if the settlement is not successful. Here’s how a dog bite lawyer can help you as the dog owner:
- Demand evidence from the dog sitter to prove that you were negligent, which caused the dog to bite.
- Insist possible reasons why the dog sitter was bitten by your dog, such as the dog was provoked or because of the sitter’s carelessness.
- Negotiate with the insurance company so everything will be covered instead of you paying out of your pocket for all damages incurred by the dog sitter.
Leaving Your Dog to Unqualified Dog Sitters
Pet owners are usually confidently leaving their dogs to pet care providers, like Wag. However, as a responsible dog owner, you should also evaluate the person who will be assigned to handle and care for your dog.
You may want to consider choosing someone who is a passionate pet lover and who has previously worked as a dog walker, animal-welfare advocate, vet tech, or a shelter volunteer.
Hire a pet care provider who has undergone a thorough screening process, including background checks and training that cover dog safety, handling, and equipment knowledge.
Most of all, applicants should be able to provide references, highlighting their previous dog care experience. In this way, worse scenarios are unlikely, including your dog escaping or biting someone.
Here are some tips before entrusting your pet to a pet care provider to avoid the risk of liabilities:
- Choose a Reputable Pet Care Provider: Ensure that the pet care provider only employs experienced dog sitters, and a strict background check was performed.
- Interview the Pet Sitter: Ensure that the dog sitter knows how to skillfully use safety devices and equipment when handling your dog by asking questions about using them. Know the pet care program of the pet care provider to check if it aligns with your dog’s needs. Choose a pet care provider that offers liability insurance. It protects you from liabilities, providing coverage to pet parents, dog walkers, or a third party.
- Choose One with Liability Insurance: It’s also important to choose a dog sitter with personal liability insurance for you and the dog sitter’s protection. Dog walkers, pet sitters, or groomers should have pet sitting liability insurance coverage that would include professional liability (claims of errors and negligence) and general liability (medical coverage for bodily injuries and property damage) coverage.
- Do Your Part: Orient the dog sitter properly before entrusting your dog, including the things that make your dog angry or stressed.
All dog owners must pay close attention to the needs of their pets. Being busy is not an excuse why you have no time to ensure your dog’s health and safety, and also the other people around, including dog sitters. You might end up leaving your dog to an unqualified dog sitter without insurance, and you pay a hefty amount of money for damages incurred because of a dog bite.
As a responsible dog owner, you should always be prepared for the worse. Make sure to hire a pet sitter with liability insurance for your protection. Take time to choose the best dog sitter to take good care of your dog. Finally, hire a dog bite lawyer if you’re facing a legal claim or dog bite charge.