There are many attractions in running your own pet business. Pet sitting, for example, can prove a highly remunerative enterprise – with estimations that the global market for such business are valued at US$2.6 billion (almost £2 billion).
But pet sitting is not without its risks. There are several home hazards for pets that may seem innocuous but can be dangerous to those in your care. This blog looks at some of those risks that you may not even be aware of.
Protectivity is one of UK’s leading online providers of Pet Business Insurance, protecting over 14,000 pet care professionals every year. Our policy extends to include dog walking insurance, pet sitting insurance and dog grooming insurance, as well as protection for 11 other pet care professions.
The following are the some of the most common home hazards for pets that you need to be aware of:
1. Houseplants and fresh cut flowers
Don’t overlook the danger of plants and fresh cut flowers that can be toxic to pets (such as lilies to both dogs and cats) – keep the poisons away from them.
2. Electrical cables
Pets like to chew – as any experienced sitter will tell you – so keep electrical cables well out of the way to prevent playful mouths getting burnt.
3. Cleaning agents
Many household cleaners contain highly toxic chemicals – lock them well away from any pets.
4. Garden dangers
Dangerous compounds are not confined to inside your home, but weedkillers, pesticides, and other garden chemicals pose threats – not to mention the obvious hazards posed by machinery such as lawnmowers and strimmers.
The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) points out that many of the foods – and treats – welcomed by humans can also be poisonous to pets (“goodies” such as chocolate, nuts, and grapes must be avoided).
6. Medicines, vitamins, and supplements …
Hopefully, you are in the practice of keeping such things locked away in your medicine cabinet but make doubly sure to keep all your own medicines, vitamins, and supplements away from curious pets.
7. … and those prescribed for the pet
Other medicines might have been prescribed for the pet you’re sitting but make sure to follow the dosage advised by the vet and take care that the animal doesn’t attempt to scoff the lot in one go.
Take particular care of any loose or discarded batteries since they can cause nasty internal burns and poisoning by the heavy metals they contain.
Don’t let the pets swallow coins, warn Vets Now, since they might not only cause internal blockages but certain metals in some coins can also prove toxic.
10. Plastic bags
Most of us are alert to the dangers of asphyxiation in children from plastic bags and the risks are just as great – or even greater – when it comes to the pets you might be sitting.
11. Household appliances
Always keep the doors to washing machines and tumble driers firmly closed and check that none of the pets has snuck inside before you switch on.
12. Paper shredders
A particular danger is posed by shredding machines – some of which are too easily switched on and activated by a curious pet – so, keep the power supply disconnected and use only when curious animals are out of sight.
13. Toilet seats – down!
Pets are incorrigibly curious, and it’s certainly been known for the more curious to dive headfirst into the toilet bowl – keeping the lid down will help reduce any further embarrassment.
It might seem an extensive list, but don’t let the home hazards for pets spoil your enthusiasm – just a little common sense and consideration for the animals in your care should help you avoid the worst of these pitfalls.