Saturday, December 1, 2007




In recent months San Diego and its surrounding counties fell victim to a series of wildfires. Fueled by warm Santa Ana winds and overly dry environmental conditions, the blazes spread with terrifying quickness, consuming homes and displacing thousands of people. Thanks to the heroic efforts of our firefighting personnel the fires were eventually contained, but not before more than 360,000 acres had been burned and 1,400 homes destroyed. Though only 14 deaths were reported by the medical examiner, 556,000 people were forced to evacuate, and as of this writing, only 50,000 of those have been able to return to their homes. As 2007 ends and the new year begins, San Diego County is still in recovery and response mode.

Animals in Focus

Since the human element of this tragedy has been adequately covered elsewhere, for this release we would like to focus on the plight of the effected pets. In times of crises, it is deceptively easy to overlook the animal companions who are also victimized by disasters; the slew of pets lost and abandoned in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina serves as a grim example. Thankfully, most San Diego County residents were more conscientious about the emergency care of their animal companions, and by comparison incidences of abandoned pets were few and far between. The Department of Animal Services (DAS) reported only 44 burned cats and dogs, most of whom received medical care at the three DAS shelter hospital. While those with more severe burns were entrusted to the specialized treatment of private clinics, most area veterinarians, such as the Woodside Animal Hospital and Pacific Beach Veterinary clinic, were called upon to dedicate more efforts to boarding and care

Similar events occurred with the 2003 Cedar fire, and unfortunately, due to adverse weather and environment conditions, the odds are high that they will happen again. We hope to illustrate the victories achieved during this latest disaster, as well as discuss the steps that can be taken in case any future disaster should strike throughout this release.

Smaller Animal Issues

Strictly speaking, it is not difficult to relocate a dog or cat. Most pet owners do so on a relatively frequent basis, as their animal is ferried to and from the veterinarian, the dog park, boarder, pet sitters, or any number of other common locations. Despite this, some owners were ill-prepared for an emergency, and did not have an adequate method of transportation at hand. While a modest crate or portable kennel, more environmentally-sensitive creatures like reptiles, fish and amphibians require greater preparation for travel. Even though the animal may escape the flames, if it’s unique needs are not met, the chances for survival are severely reduced.

Other owners were unable to rescue their animals. Pet Services & Products Association of San Diego reported that “Many of the folks evacuated were professional pet sitters...who were caring not only for their own homes but five to ten other households.” Because many of these individuals did not necessarily live in the neighborhoods where they were caring for pets, police were unable to verify the authenticity of their claims and could not allow them to enter evacuated districts to check on the animals in their charge.

Owners who were able to evacuate their pets appeared at shelters with them securely in tow. Most such institutions were very accommodating, especially the Red Cross, who accepted pets at their Qualcomm Stadium, Mira Mesa High School, Lakeside Rodeo and Del Mar Fairgrounds evacuation centers. It was a lesson learned from Hurricane Katrina; prior to 2005 the organization did not allow pets in their rescue shelters. However, “Katrina changed everything. We noticed people will unwilling to leave their pets. They’re family members,” says Andy McKellar, disaster response manager for the San Diego-Imperial County chapter. Though the Red Cross still holds to their no-pets rule, they are now co-joining shelters, or opening up pet evacuation sites adjacent to shelter areas. Likewise, several area hotels went so far as to waive their pet restrictions, while others rescinded the usual fee charged for keeping a pet in a room.

The largest problem with these smaller animals was the availability of food and water. Fortunately, the overwhelming amount of donations and service offered by the larger San Diego pet community allowed the evacuees and their pets to overcome this difficulty.

The Livestock Problem

Unfortunately, a large percentage of the fires struck San Diego’s outlying northern and eastern districts, areas such as Lakeside, Poway and Ramona, that are home to owners of larger animals such as horses, pigs, sheep, goats and other livestock. Horses in particular faced the greatest danger from the wildfires. Under the best of conditions a horse is a chore to transport, and a single horse requires a great deal of food in its daily diet. During the initial outbreak, the fires advanced at such a rapid rate that some owners were forced to open the paddock gates and allow their horses to run free, racing for their lives ahead of the flames.

In a word, though, most horse owners were lucky. Makeshift shelters, specifically designated to cope with the problem of caring for and feeding these larger animals, were erected by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and San Diego County Animal Services in the unaffected portions of Lakeside. Open locations such as Fiesta Island were also converted into temporary paddocks where hay was available. Impromptu water troughs were constructed out of the orange five-gallon buckets donated by Home Depot, and many of the horses were looked after by a cadre of trained emergency responders while their owners sought shelter further towards the coast. Though there are still some animals that are lost or otherwise unaccounted for, overall losses were kept to a minimum.

Professional Care and Assistance

Regarding the rescue efforts and care provided to the displaced animals, Eric Sakach, director of HSUS California, said that “the response to the wildfires is the best [I’ve] ever seen in more than thirty years. The citizens of San Diego have responded in tremendous fashion.” Owners and volunteers turned out in droves to tend to the needs of the Lakeside horses. Elizabeth Johnson, a local resident and horse owner, took her lessons learned from the 2003 Cedar fire and came ready to help others, armed with a cleaning shovel and surplus bags of feed. Other volunteers turned out countywide, providing the majority of staffing and supplied materials for shelters, or operating under the direction of agencies such as San Diego Animals Services and HSUS.

In addition to local residence, emergency response teams arrived from around the nation to assist with the efforts. HSUS California members were joined by volunteer reinforcements from Tallahassee, Seattle, and Austin, as well as the HSUS Northern Rockies response team from Billings, Montana. Three veterinary students from Western University in Pomona, Tamerin Scott, Manprett Mundh and Erin McNeil, lent their training to assist the needs of the animals housed at the Lakeside shelters. “The animals are doing surprisingly well, considering the scale of the disaster,” said Scott. “Their pens are clean and they have plenty of water.”

Local Efforts Shine Through

Since help can come in a variety of ways, being ready with resources and prepared with option is often the best anecdote when you are evacuating from a small or large scale disaster. Many services and businesses have offered a multitude of options for those who were displaced by the recent fires. Almost all offered or continue to offer free or discounted boarding or veterinary services. Some had donation jars set up at their establishments, donated doggy biscuits for Therapy Dogs that went to Qualcomm to assist, had employees volunteer their time to fire victims, sent actual donations or veterinarians over to various evacuation centers and to the fire camps so working Fire Dogs could be transported. While others assisted in evacuating their clients from their homes or combined assistance efforts with agencies such as Spark Relief by posting a list of over 100 collected contacts of volunteers available to assist in boarding, housing or transportation of both people and pets and contacting news stations and agencies to get the information out. Some of these establishments were still able to help even though they themselves had to evacuate their establishments.

For their selfless donations and contributions to the rescue efforts, the following organizations, business, service providers and individuals deserve recognition for assisting with the fire relief efforts by offering the aforementioned options to pet owning fire victims: La Mesa Pet Hotel, Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Services by Kat, 4 Paws Flying Doggie Daycare, Jay’s Bees Kennels, Spring Creek Kennels, AAA Pet Care, Jensen’s Kennels, Good Buddies, Camp Diggity Dog, Original Paw Pleasures, Otay Pet Vets, Spring Valley Veterinary Clinic, Animal Emergency Hospital, Plaza Boulevard Pet Clinic, Balboa Veterinary Hospital, La Mesa Pet Hotel, South Bark Dog Wash, Bark Park, City Dog, Jensen’s Kennels, South Bark Dog Wash, City Dog, Original Paw Pleasures, Mission Gorge Animal Hospital, Balboa Veterinary Hospital, Santee Pet Hospital, Steele Canyon Veterinary Clinic, Barbara’s Pet Care, Original Paw Pleasures, Best Friends Pet Resort & Salon, Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Services by Kat, Spark Relief, San Diego County Animal Control, Petco Foundation, Petsmart Charities, Home Depot of Mission Valley, Mike Carter’s Feed of Lakeside, Emergency Animal Disaster Services of New York, Abaxis Co., Stations Casinos Inc., Pet Services & Products Association of San Diego, Emergency Animal Rescue (EAR), Friends of County Animal Shelters (FOCAS), Noah’s Wish nonprofit disaster response, and the Baja Animal Sanctuary.

Pet Emergency Preparedness

With a little bit of planning and preemptive effort, many of the difficulties encountered during a disaster can be overcome. While it is impossible to anticipate when a disaster will occur, having a solid disaster plan in place can save lives. Your pets are members of your family, and any disaster plan you create must include them. If you are forced to evacuate, leaving them behind, despite how safe the environment might seem, only increases their risk of injury or death.

HSUS recommends that all pet owners assemble an emergency supply kit for each of your pets, as you would for your other family members. Your kit should include:

*At least a three-day supply of food and drinking water, secured in easy-to-carry containers. Though pets may not come to physical harm during a disaster or the subsequent recovery, food shortages can quickly become a problem. This includes bowls or other feeding apparatus, as well as methods for disposal of waste, such as dog bags and cat litter.
*Up-to-date photos and descriptions of your pets.
*Identification. Your pet’s tag should have an additional phone number of someone out of the area in the event it becomes lost. See “Designated Care Givers” below.
*If you have not done so already, it is recommended that you have your pet micro-chipped. In the event you and your pet become separated, the data contained in the chip can facilitate a speedy recovery. Talk to your vet, or go to for more information.
*If your pet uses any medications, keep extra supplies, as well as their medical records and a pet first-aid kit.
*Reliable leashes, harness and carriers to transport your pets. Remember that your pet may be spending several hours or even days inside its carrier, so it should be large enough to ensure their comfort.

Familiarize yourself with your environment, and with any natural disasters that may occur. While the wildfires have garnered the bulk of the media attention in the last couple of years, the San Diego area is also subject to the occasional earthquake. Plan out evacuation routes, and learn the locations of the emergency shelters in their area, especially ones with pet-friendly policies. In addition, you should assemble a list of local animal shelters. If you become separated from your pets, this would be the place to begin your search.

Remember, there is no guarantee that emergency relief will be as accommodating as in recent history, so the better informed you are beforehand, the easier your recovery efforts will be later.

Designated Care Givers

Establishing a designated care giver can be an important step before, during, and after a natural disaster. A professional pet sitter can provide a temporary home for your pet in the even you become separated or are unable to otherwise reach them in the event of an unexpected disaster. If, as a result of the disaster, you are unable to care for your pets, a designated care giver can help you find a permanent, loving home for them. Remember, your care giver or pet sitter is the person to whom you are entrusting the care of your pet in the event something should happen to; in effect, they become foster parent to your child. It has been highly recommended by several professional pet sitters and boarders to set yourself up with several options in the event your primary choices also have to evacuate or become otherwise unavailable.

How You Can Continue To Help

Though the fires have since passed, the scars they left in their wake still remain, scorched onto the land and seared into our hearts and minds. Homeowners were displaced during the evacuations, and despite the care given at rescue shelters, there are still a large number of pets and domestic animals that have yet to be reunited with their families. Other areas have sustained damage to their animal care and veterinary facilities, and are desperately in need of funds and supplies to aid in rebuilding efforts.

If you wish to provide assistance, the Citizen Action Team Response provides a complete list of all agencies providing fire relief, and is a great resource of those looking to donate. Check out The Department of Animal Service’s website at has up-to-date information on injured and rescued pets. They also provide a downloadable pet disaster plan. Information on the San Diego Humane Society’s fire animal rescues and Fire Relief Pet Assistance Program is available at needs individuals willing to foster displaced pets. Please go to for info and registration. Updated information about the fires and fire safety can be found at Continuing information about fire relief and recovery is posted at The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: United Animal nations is a non-profit animal advocacy organization whose mission is to protect animals in danger or need. You can help at The VCA Grossmont Animal Hospital of La Mesa is spearheading treatment efforts for animals with fire related injuries. Contact them at 619-697-0082 or If you or someone you know has lost a pet, is a support site dedicated to providing comfort and other grieving services. For further information and care tips, please consult your area veterinarian. A quick Google or YAHOO! Search will also yield additional sources.

For further information on finding a professional pet sitter, please visit Pet Sitters International (PSI) at For local information on pet sitting in San Diego County, contact Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Services by Kat on the web at

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Text and copy services by Matthew Baldwin,

Monday, November 19, 2007


Any number of problems could occur inside a home while you are gone and the last thing anyone wants to happen while they are away from home is to come home and find your home not there or damaged, or your things missing or your pets gravely ill or possibly dead or any other major catastrophe. I created this guide in an effort to better educate homeowners, renters, residents and pet owners, if they choose not go with a professional care person or company who is qualified for any of those three major aspects described above.

For starters, consider all the problems that could occur in the home that could escalate to serious repairs, damages, or losses. Consider every detail I mentioned above and create a contingency plan for each scenario. Instruct your care provider thoroughly on that plan. Make every effort to communicate necessary information to the person taking care of your home. Create a guide to your home that includes a blueprint of your property indicating all points of entry, the location of household products and cleaners, pet supplies and emergency contact information. Make sure the person caring for your property has the contact information for every house and pet related issue or need. Some of which are vets, security companies, local law enforcement, emergency contacts, your travel contacts, plumbers, electricians, window and door installation companies, carpet cleaners, house cleaners, water damage specialists, fire damage specialists, gardeners, garbage men, or anyone who might need access to your home. Make sure you properly and thoroughly instruct the person on your pets’ needs, wants, desires, commands, when they go for walks, when they use the bathroom after a meal, when they eat, what their medications and medical issues are, quirks, bathing rituals, grooming rituals, nighttime rituals, etc. Make sure they know where the fuse box is and extra candles, flashlights or other illumination devices are. In California especially, make sure they know where the earthquake preparedness materials are and know what to do in the event of an earthquake. Make sure they know where the water shut off valve is. Make sure you have prepared your home, turning off unnecessary appliances, etc. Make sure you have the person tour your home and show them physically how to open/shut all points of entry, how to secure and test your alarms, and anything security or hazard related to your home. Remember to never forget a detail no matter how large or small. Then before you leave, take inventory to see if anything was forgotten and to make sure they are well informed of new instructions. Leave your care provider emergency cash on hand in the event a supply is needed…they may not carry cash with them when they visit and may be peeved that they have to pay for something on your behalf. I have a pet owner checklist preparing pet owners for pet sitting services and their trips that would be extremely useful which details these issues that I would be happy to provide you. Please feel free to ask.

Although many people like to supplement neighbors, relatives, and friends for professionals when it comes to pet sitting or house sitting duties, these well-intentioned actions often create confusion and problems during a required sitting assignment. What most homeowners and pet owners don’t understand is what exactly goes into the care of the home and pets while the primary owner is out of town that the average person may not even realize. There are three major components to pet sitting. All of these components require extreme attention to detail and alertness that the average person may naturally overlook.

Firstly, the actual pet care requirements alone. Pet sitting is a very large responsibility and covers a wide variety of needs for each pet. It is not just about feeding the pet(s), cleaning their litter boxes or potty areas and making sure they are hydrated. Pet care is also about monitoring their health, grooming needs, behavioral needs, emergency problems, handling any “quirks” and much more. For the experienced pet care provider and pet owner these issues are easily noticeable and commonplace.

The average person may not know what to ask for when a pet owner asks they if they can take care of their pets while they are gone. They may not realize how important having certain contact information handy will be until it is too late. They may over-feed your pets or forget a feeding. There may be an altercation between your pet(s) and another person, even the person caring for the animal that results in injury and the person caring for your pets may not know what to do or may end up getting fined for negligence (thusly something you would pay for). Alternatively, in the case they get hurt by the pet may treat that pet differently or negatively. They may forget to walk the dogs for exercise and keep them consistent on obedience commands. They may unknowingly let a pet into a restricted area of the house or leave a door open and the pet escapes. Usually because the door is opened to take the trash out, or to quickly get something outside. Some tasks will be missed and not performed. Pets have a tendency to enter areas of the house they are not supposed to be in, or may get locked in an area they can't get out of - when others are in the house. They may not realize the pet(s) followed them. The pet(s) may have chewed through a wire or electrical cord and may have gone unnoticed until there is a power surge causing sparks to fly, possibly catching your home on fire, or if the animal gets electrocuted. Professional care providers have a trained eye for these details and can often deter any house or security problems resulting from a pet’s behavior.

For many people, a trusted neighbor or relative that is familiar with your home and pet(s) may work just fine. However, friends, family and other non-professional helpers may come for the first 2-3 days then get bored with the pet(s) and just do not "feel like" coming any more, the may not even tell you or may try to cover up the fact they did not provide care for your pet(s). They may also may not be INSURED or BONDED and if something should happen the owner is responsible. The pet(s) may go uncared for, possibly for days until your return. Most tasks will be completed diligently, but one task usually is consistently incomplete. Non-professional help may not be versed in what to do in case of emergencies or medical situations. If you go to their home how do you know it is hazard free, illness free, pet free and clean???? Most non-professionals will be initially excited about the opportunity to sit for your home. Usually they will have a genuine love for your pet(s). However, they are probably not used to the "quirks" that your pet(s) may have (that you or your professional pet care provider will notice!) and often the initial enthusiasm will turn to frustration that the pet(s) will not "behave" the way they expected. Once the enthusiasm has diminished, the pet(s) may receive less affection.

The second major component is house-sitting duties. House sitting duties rely solely on household management. Certain important details about your home may be forgotten or not relayed to the person you ask to sit your pets. Of course, these minor details could very well end up being a major issue in an emergency. A non-professional may see an accident on the floor but do nothing about it. They could make a judgment call that could hurt your pets like using an excessive amount of a very toxic chemical on the floor to clean the mess and the pet accidentally ingesting that chemical. Or in some instances I have heard from clients, the helpful friend got tired of cleaning up the messes after a few times and failed to clean up those messes in the future leaving a massive cleaning problem for the client. Although not intentional, as a pet owner myself after employing the aid of a neighbor, have noticed major household hazards such as these after coming home. This is especially true if you live in an older home. A professional care provider will specifically ask for these things, along with asking about the layout of the home and gain a tour of the home and make notes about your home.

Finally - PROFESSIONAL HOME SECURITY. Professional help is well trained and versed in property security. They use their senses to detect problems. A neighbor or friend may not think to test the alarm system. They might not think to physically check points of entry. They may not even do a thorough patrol check of the property. Furthermore, most would not even think to check for potential hazards. They may decide to leave if there is a broken window or door they cannot secure. What if keys get lost or broken? What if there is a power outage? What if the pet dug a hole exposing the fence? What if the home was burglarized while they were gone? What if there is a burglary in progress while they are on site? Professional security help is trained and licensed to do what is necessary and stay on site until problem is resolved. Although a majority of pet care providers are not licensed to provide security (thusly trained, background checked, examined by the State, etc), they should know what to do in terms of the basic security of your home.

written and copyright by Kat

Tuesday, October 16, 2007



Date: October 16, 2007

On Saturday, September 29 and Sunday, September 30, the NBC 7/39 Travel Expo at the San Diego Convention Center attracted thousands of people looking for ideas for their next vacation. About 100 exhibitors, loaded with information about travel packages and destinations, represented countries, cruises, travel services and resorts from around the world. For anyone looking to pick up some glossy brochures with exciting vacation ideas, win raffle prizes or even try the indoor rock-climbing wall, the expo was the place to be. Even a baby equipment rental company that caters to traveling babies and their families was at the event. In fact there seemed to be just about everything you would want to know about traveling in California and beyond, except for one thing. For the hundreds of thousands of pet owners in San Diego, there were some serious questions raised about what to do about the furry part of the family when the family decides to travel.

Pets are often considered members of the family, but ready information about pet friendly accommodations was surprisingly hard to find, and there certainly were no informational booths devoted to traveling with pets or boarding and pet care options for travelers who leave their pets at home. According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, "pet ownership is currently at its highest level with 71.1 million households in the U.S. owning at least one pet (63% of the 113.7 million total U.S. households). According to the Survey: “there are 74.8 million dogs, 88.3 million cats, 142 million freshwater fish, 9.6 million saltwater fish, 16 million birds, 24.3 million small animals, 13.4 million reptiles and 13.8 million horses." With well over 600,000 dogs and cats in San Diego, according to a County of San Diego Department of Animal Services estimate not to mention other pets, it seems obvious that people would be concerned about the well being of their pets before traveling.

A tour of the California hotel and resort section at the expo and some question-asking revealed that although some hotels and resorts, such as Wyndham Hotels, Big Bear Lodge and Sycuan Resort & Casino, have recognized the importance of pets in their owners’ lives and try to address pet needs, many still do not allow pets or provide nearby pet boarding. Even pet-friendly hotels often do not allow pets to be left unattended in the rooms.

What about cruises and tours? The wonderful thing about them is that they take virtually no planning on the traveler’s part; but matters become a bit more complicated when there is a pet involved. Animals are rarely allowed on cruises, tour buses and trains.
International travel with pets gets even more complicated. Pets that fly can be exposed to extreme temperatures and stressful environments, are required to have the proper certificates, examinations and vaccinations and sometimes are not even allowed to enter certain rabies-free areas such as Jamaica. There is also the risk of being separated from your pet during flight transfers, which puts more stress on you and your pet and could lead to separation anxiety and injury if pets try to escape their carriers.

With the shortage of pet-friendly accommodations, activities, travel packages and information, what is a family to do about their pets when planning vacations? Unless you are traveling by car and have ready access to a list of pet-friendly accommodations along your route, your best bet is to leave the pets in the safety, comfort and capable hands of a trusted caregiver. Sometimes, as much as the pets might enjoy an exotic destination with the rest of the family, it is simply much more comfortable and relaxing staying at home, or temporarily boarding at the home or facility with knowledgeable and professional staff on hand.

Local pet sitting services, such as Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Services by Kat, is a simple solution to the stresses of traveling for pet owners. It is clear and understandable from the Travel Expo that the travel industry’s first priority is people and not necessarily their pets. Rather than exposing pets to the rigors of travel, getting buried in rules and restrictions or putting a pet in the well-meaning but untrained care of a friend or neighbor, opt for a professional like Kat to make sure your pet is safe and happy. After all, the whole point of a vacation is to relax; and there is no better way to enjoy peace of mind than knowing your pet is safe.

For more information about the pet sitting industry please visit Pet Sitters International at: Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Services by Kat can be contacted at

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

What is the deal with insurance, licenses and bonding of pet care providers?

"This has become a pet peeve of mine", Patti J. Moran, president and founder of Pet Sitters International, writes in her book, Pet Sitting for Profit. The pet-sitting industry is self-regulated, so a "pet care provider's license" doesn’t exist as does a contractor's license, restaurant's license, etc. However, many cities require a license to do business as a company or by certain operational conditions of business within their borders and usually is only issued to companies that qualify in that capacity. Service providers may not qualify as a business if they are sole operators. She further states that it is misleading to the public to list this business license as a credential. This is based on the fact that there isn’t a state exam or course of study required prior to obtaining a business license. Furthermore, any person that has access to your property should not only be verifiable as a pet care provider but as a licensed security professional as well. Just about anyone can claim they are a pet or house care provider, but they are not trained or qualified to handle security issues on private property, nor are they verifiable through a state government agency that governs the businesses that mayhave access to private properties. Licensed security professionals are not only licensed by a state government agency but are trained to handle, diffuse, observe, report and deter security problems on private and public properties as well as secure persons and provide house sitting services. No special "license" exists for pet sitting in the United States and pet care providers who use the term are often referring to the occupational permit some municipalities require businesses to obtain. Many professional pet care providers discourage their peers from using the term "licensed" to describe an occupational permit because they believe it's misleading to the general public to present such a permit as a form of credential.

A dishonesty or fidelity bond claim generally applies when a pet care provider is convicted in criminal court of theft from a client home. When the pet care provider is convicted, the bond will reimburse the client for the loss, and then seek reimbursement from the pet care provider. This process often requires many years, and usually relies on a criminal law court conviction. Many pet care providers have decided to seek actual insurance coverage for theft instead of procuring a bond. Theft insurance coverage does not require convictions, and usually includes coverage for accidental breakage, mysterious disappearance, and accidental damage to items in a client home. Bonds usually require that the person be convicted of the crime before the bonding company would make a payment. The bond further requires that the individual make full restitution to the bond company for restitution to be made.

A nationwide Pet Care provider insurance provider insures most professional pet care providers. These providers associate themselves with various professional pet care provider associations. As of 2007, the major American pet-sitting insurance providers include claim limits from 2 million to 4 million per claim for liability claims. They also include coverage for care, custody, and control of the client pets from $10,000 to $200,000 per occurrence. Coverage is included for fire damage, lost keys, and other negligence claims. Because American pet-sitting insurers do not provide coverage to minors, most professional pet care providers are over eighteen years of age. Most pet care provider insurance plans provide coverage for pet transport and services for most species of animals, except those that may be used for other business ventures, including farming. Some resources recommend that pet care providers be bonded. That recommendation has been dismissed by many professional organizations in recent years. Regular pet-sitting liability coverage generally does not protect pet care providers from injury to themselves as a result of client negligence. Pet care provider liability insurance usually covers injury to other people and other pets. In the United States, insurance professionals recommend that homeowners carry homeowners insurance or umbrella insurance before hiring a pet care provider.

All businesses should carry liability insurance in order to protect their personal assets. Professionally, pet sitting has been around for more than 25 years, insurance policies are available specifically for this type of business. This applies to businesses and their owners and may cover independent contractors. Pet care provider insurance provides protection in many different areas to the business, client's home and the pet(s). Liability coverage is “negligence insurance” and covers expenses should the caregiver have an accident and damage the client’s property or do something that results in harm to the pets. Although it is extremely wise to have any pet care provider service companies who employees who service your home have insurance, but it is not required for independent contractors as they act as the client’s employee directly. A homeowner’s insurance policy should already be sufficient to cover loss on behalf of care in your home. But if a pet care provider has insurance and/or bonding chances are they are licensed, of 18 years of age, have paid annual dues for each association membership and may or may not add those expenses in with their rates. But having these qualifications separates a professional from the neighborhood kid down the street and ensures you are getting quality in the service, which as we all know is the most important thing when it comes to caring for our furkids!