When inquiring about pet sitting in San Diego or anywhere for that matter, there are a couple very important things that every pet owner should ensure a pet sitter has. I’m going to quick give a rundown of 3 items actually, but only 2 of the 3 are absolutely vital.
Liability insurance covers property damage and injuries to pets or people while a client’s home and animals are in a pet sitters care (known officially as “care, custody, and control”). This is by far the most important item a professional pet sitter must have. If a pet sitter loses keys, knocks over an expensive vase in the entry hall, or the dog bites someone, these are the types of things that are covered under insurance. Unfortunately accidents do happen, so its always good to know that these incidents will be covered.
Bonding refers to a security (dishonesty) bond. This protects the pet owner’s home from any unfortunate theft that may occur. If a pet sitter has employees, this is a must in my book. Personally, it gives me peace of mind if a pet sitter or pet sitting company is bonded. A pet sitter who damages or steals the client’s property must be charged and convicted of the crime before the bond can “respond.” Some pet sitters are not bonded, but that does not mean that a client is not protected because in lieu of a bond, some pet sitters insurances carry what is called a ‘Special Personal-Property Endorsement’ and this addition to a pet sitter’s insurance policy is becoming more and more popular.
A professional license and a business license are very different, and any individual who employs a pet sitter should be aware of those differences.
A business license is really a permit, given by a government organization, that enables a person or organization to operate a business in a specific geographical region. It may be issued by a city, town, or another entity, and may be given to a pet sitter, a retail outlet, a book shop, et cetera. – not only pet sitters. This kind of permit doesn’t mean that the individual receiving the permit has any expertise in the business she or he will run.
To be able to operate in certain professions, one will need to take specified training programs after which, they must pass an exam. Passing the exam demonstrates (preferably!) that individuals know their stuff, and it also earns them a permit to operate in that industry.
There are not any professional licensing requirements for pet sitters.
Any individual who would like to start a pet sitting business is capable of doing so without having any formal education, and no licensing exams are required. Several pet sitters have taken pet related courses such as pet behavior, canine training, first-aid, or business courses. Several pet sitters take pet sitting business classes given by private firms or industry groups, but courses like this aren’t legal requirements to work a pet sitting business.
So for a lot of pet owners, whenever they see “licensed, bonded and insured” they presume the pet sitter went through some licensing training programs and examining. Seeing though, for pet sitters, there are no professional licenses, this is certainly not the case. I really don’t feel pet sitters are deliberately attempting to deceive prospective clients by doing this but it could possibly be deceiving for individuals who do not understand there is not a pet sitter license.
I would really like to see far more pet sitters plainly point out they have a “business license” instead of just stating they’re licensed. Possibly that, or simply just leave off the fact that they possess a business license. For me personally, I really don’t feel it’s essential as many companies that run in a professional fashion get the necessary business licenses along with other permits for their location. And, certainly if a client were to inquire about if a pet sitter carries a business license it is a straightforward yes or no response.