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Pet Care: Expectations vs. Reality

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Pet care professionals—whether a pet sitter, dog groomer, boarder, or pet walker—love their job. Being with their furry clients brings joy and satisfaction. If you’re just starting out as a pet care professional, there are probably a few expectations that you have. Today we want to talk about those expectations and share the realities associated with them.

Expectation and Reality #1

Expectation: Being a pet boarder will be easy because I love hanging out with pets.

Reality: Although it’s true that watching pets for an extended period of time and overnight can be fun, it’s also a lot of hard work that comes with liability risks. If you’re watching pets for longer than a couple of hours, you have several responsibilities. Beyond being in charge of walking the pet(s), feeding them, cleaning up after them, you are responsible for damages they may cause to property or other pets in your care. For example, if a dog breaks a fragile item in the house, the owner can hold you liable for any property damage. If you do provide overnight care, remember to opt in for extra coverage, based on the nature of your business, and how many pets you care for overnight.

Expectation and Reality #2

Expectation: Walking dogs is easy—I won’t have to worry about accidents occurring while I’m walking dogs.

Reality: The reality of dog walking is that there are several accidents that can occur while the dog is in your care. If you take the dog to a dog park, another dog could approach it and get in a small fight, injuring the dog. There’s also the possibility of the dog getting loose from your grasp and running away or wandering into traffic. If you lose an animal while in your care, you could be in some serious trouble with the owner, and face some hefty legal needs if something were to happen to their pet while in your custody. Make sure to take the proper precautions of new and undamaged leashes, as well as having dog walkers insurance.

Expectation and Reality #3

Expectation: While pet sitting, I can leave the dog alone in the backyard.

Reality: While most of the time it is okay to leave the dog alone in the backyard but remember you are still responsible for anything that happens to that pet. We all know some pets are more of a flight risk than others, some cats try to leave when you open the door or puppies wander out when the gate is left open. So, obviously if the dog is in the yard and you are entering or exiting the yard through the fence, make sure that you securely close the fence so the dog can’t escape. Before leaving the dog alone in the yard, be sure to check the yard for any possible places where the dog could get loose and ask the owner if there are “digging spots” to keep an eye on while you are sitting.

Expectation and Reality #4

Expectation: I am a trained groomer, I will never harm the pets.

Reality: As a trained professional, you do your best to not harm or injure any animals. However, accidents out of your control can happen, and you can be held liable for any injuries. The reality is that pets get uncomfortable and can move around a lot, so you’ll need to make sure you don’t accidentally cut their skin when they move. It’s also not uncommon for pet groomers to clip the pet’s nails too short, which can result in an infection. Make sure to take all precautions so that you don’t end up responsible for any pet medical bills.

Pet Care Insurance

Now that you know a few of the realities of being a pet care professional, we want to cover how you can work with peace of mind—insurance. Pet Care Insurance provides insurance for pet sitters, pet groomers, pooper scoopers, pet trainers, dog walkers, pet boarders, and more.

Chances are, if you are a pet care professional, we have an insurance policy for you. You can purchase an annual policy for $139 per year to receive all the coverage you need. All of the above examples of what could go wrong are covered by Pet Care Insurance. The best part is that you can fill out an online application in 10 minutes or less. If you have any questions about our coverage, contact one of our licensed insurance agents. Good luck!

Annual Pet Insurance Policy

This policy is for professionals who work in the pet care industry.

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Comparing Employee Dishonesty Coverage & Bonding

PCI’s employee dishonesty coverage is similar to a bond, but there may be some key differences to consider.

Employee dishonesty coverage:

  • Can be purchased in the same transaction
  • Doesn’t run credit checks
  • Provides $10,000 per occurrence and $25,000 aggregate coverage

Bonds may differ from our dishonesty coverage by:

  • Checking your credit during the application process
  • Having a “Conviction Claus;” Often bonds won’t pay on claims unless there is a conviction
  • Many require you to reimbursement the bonding company after a claim is paid