Injuries in the Workplace: Animal-Related Services

PHCs’ medical team are accustomed to treating injuries from veterinarians, kennels, groomers and other animal related services.

Working with pets can be a very rewarding experience, whether you work in a veterinary office, as a groomer, in a pet shop, as a pet supplier, or in any number of other industries where you are in close contact with animals.

It is clear that those who dedicate their lives to working with animals are passionate and empathetic individuals. Individuals who pursue animal care usually chose their career path, in part, because of their love for and comfort around animals.

However, it is essential that an individual working with or around animals understands that there will be unpredictable moments and the best way to prepare for working with and around animals is through planned safety procedures that can counteract this unpredictability. Hannah Brown, a groomer at a national pet retailor, explained the safety procedures her store has put in place to prevent workplace injury. “The main part of our safety procedures is patience,” Brown said, “Another big thing is knowing the danger zones on the dog. “I have always wanted to work with animals since I was a kid,” Brown said, “The way the dogs prance out to their owners and the happiness on the owners faces is really amazing. It becomes more of a passion than a job.” But, that comfort around animals should not be taken for granted.

Animals can be unpredictable and, at times, dangerous. “People in the veterinary services profession (i.e., veterinarians, veterinary technicians, veterinary assistants, and nonclinical staff) were the second most likely to have nonfatal injuries in 2016,” according to, thus ranking “ahead of truss makers, police officers, and firefighters.” (Cima & Larkin, “Hurt at work: Injuries common in clinics, often from animals, and usually preventable”).

Simply stated, people working in and around animals may be injured given the nature of the job and treating those injuries when they arise is essential to ensuring that one is able to continue to do what they love. When you are working with someone else’s pet, the animal is out of its comfort zone. It is often displaced from its home and surrounded by new smells and loud sounds. Brown explained, “You have to remember that they don’t understand what you’re saying so as a result you have to keep a calm demeanor.”

People can minimize the potential of getting hurt around pets by staying informed and keeping safety precautions. It is important to maintain calm without becoming too comfortable. However, if you are injured, getting quick care for the injury— even if it seems small— can prevent infection or complications later.

It is important that in the event of an animal related injury, employees have first aid administered immediately and seek medical attention from a provider familiar with workplace and animal related injuries.

At Physicians Health Center, we treat the employees from several organizations where employees are in close contact with animals and have dealt with a multitude of on-the-job animal-related injuries as well as staying informed on how to properly treat employees injured by animals. The most common injuries we treat are bites and scratches although lifting, carrying, or needle stick injuries are not uncommon. Tetanus vaccines are also available as well as antibiotics as needed. Certain injections, such as the rabies injection, may require us to set up an immediate referral to the nearest emergency room but after rabies shot has been administered, Physicians Health Center will provide any needed ongoing treatment.

Printable Guide for the Treatment of Animal Bites and Scratches

Physicians Health Centers works closely with your workers' compensation insurance carrier to treat your employee and return them safely to work. We also provide the option of handling injuries as self-pay. To setup an account profile with Physicians Health Center, please reach out to:

Maxine Topper - (305) 439-4165 -


American Pet Products Association, Inc. (2019-2020). “Pet Industry Market Size & Ownership Statistics.” APPA: American Pet Products Association.

Cima, J. & Larkin, M. (2018). “Hurt at work: Injuries common in clinics, often from animals, and usually preventable.” AVMA: American Veterinarian Medical Association.