If you are a pet care company who provides services for senior pets or special needs pets, having Pet Sitting Insurance is a must for your business. During the course of your service, a senior or special needs pet may require special care, including veterinary care.
Senior and special needs pets may have different dietary requirements, medicine which needs to be administered, or mobility issues. Each of these unique challenges pose a risk to you as a pet business owner when the pet is under your care.
Following are the most common challenges pet service providers face when taking care of a senior pet or special needs animal.
- Stress – Older animals are more easily stressed. Stress releases a hormone called ACTH into the bloodstream which cause the animal to react in a ‘fight or flight’ pattern. This hormone has an effect on other systems; blood pressure may rise, kidneys and urinary systems slow down, the immune system is weakened, etc. When under stress, the pet in your care may experience vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, lethargy, or panting. This is the most common reason pets become ill when being boarded or away from their normal environment.
- Blindness or Deafness – Blind or deaf pets are easily startled and otherwise gentle animals may snap or bite. A blind dog will benefit if you sing softly around him so he knows where you are in the room at all times.
- Arthritis – This painful condition increases the risk of injury to a pet. Many older animals may also have hip dysplasia. When handling an older pet, be mindful and gentle when picking them up and putting them back down. Try to prevent older pets from jumping off high surfaces and provide safe steps up to their favorite resting spot. Older cats may need a ramp to enter their litter box or a lower lip to the box.
- Medical conditions – Some special needs pets may require the administration of medication. Diabetic pets may need regular injections of insulin for example. Before caring for a pet with a medical condition, spend some time with the owner and train yourself on properly administering the correct doses. Make sure when you administer any medication that you are giving it to the correct pet!
- Dietary needs – Overweight or diabetic pets will have special dietary needs. Make sure the owner has left you with enough food to last throughout the entire stay. If you are caring for multiple pets with various dietary needs, separate the animals during feeding time so that the special needs pet does not accidentally eat food they should not.
- Accidents – In unfamiliar environments or even because of incontinence, many older pets may experience an accident. When this happens, clean up the mess promptly so people won’t slip and fall.
Stress, blindness or deafness, arthritis, medical conditions, dietary needs and accidents are all things animals can experience when away from their home. Be sure to create a safe environment while pet sitting by following the tips from Porch on How to Prepare Your Home to Care for a Senior Pet.
Although it’s not easy to think about, make sure you have drafted an emergency plan with your pet’s owner in case their pet needs veterinary care or passes away. With proper planning and training, you’ll be ready to handle any event that arises. If the unthinkable happens, Pet Care Insurance is essential for any pet trainer, pet groomer, pet sitter, or dog walker who may care for senior pets or other special needs animals.
You can buy a policy online today with our easy to use online application!
BY CHRIS VAN LEEUWEN
Chris is a licensed agent and VP of Business Development for Veracity Insurance Solutions.
Chris uses his 30-plus years of industry experience to ensure that business is done the right way and that small business owners have the protection they need. He enjoys spending time traveling with his wife and three daughters, as well as spending time outdoors golfing, skiing, and fishing.