Aussies love their pets. Whether you live in the city or out in the country, many people are in a great position to offer their pets a great standard of living, and in return our pets show the companionship that makes them popular in many households.

Yet looking after a pet is not often as simple as that, particularly if it is not your own.

The pet industry offers a unique service to time-pressed Australians. Whether it’s cat grooming or dog walking, a business that looks after a person’s pet has a specific responsibility, and that is not always easy to keep on top of.

In the hot summer months, for example, it may be difficult for dog kennels to keep on top of the demands of many animals. Unfortunately, it’s a fact of life that some things slip through the cracks, and it’s important to be protected against the worst.

This is why pet insurance is essential for businesses that have the responsibility for other people’s furry family members.

Pet theft insurance

Another issue is that certain breeds of dogs and cats are susceptible to pet theft. If your business involves looking after many animals, the chances that one of these desirable breeds is in your care becomes noticeably higher.

According to Pet Watch Australia, some of the dog breeds at risk of pet theft include:

  • German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Dobermans – often used for security purposes.
  • Staffordshire Bull Terriers – resold for illegal dog fighting.
  • Australian terriers, Jack Russells, Maltese, Poodles, King Charles Spaniels and other small dogs – many quickly sent overseas, with their breeding potential fetching a high price.
  • Labradors, Collies and Mongrels – often targeted and used for illegal research.

Cats are unfortunately no better protected, with Pet Watch Australia saying cat theft is the main cause of disappearances.

“Certain breeds or colours vanish in considerable numbers from particular streets, suburbs or country towns within a specific period of time,” the pet safety organisation explained.

“Cats are being stolen for the European fur trade [and] the Asian food market. Stolen cats are quickly moved interstate and resold to unsuspecting buyers. Also many are being held for ransom until the owner comes up with the money to pay the cat napper.”

Property risks

If your work involves caring for pets, there are more everyday dangers to your business, too.

One of the most common and widely recognised defence mechanism for a scared animal is the fight or flight response. Especially when looking after unfamiliar pets, the effects of this instinct will probably be very familiar: Animals that feel threatened will either try to defend themselves or make for the hills.

In a confined space, this can quite easily lead to some expensive property damage, and before long you may find it unprofitable to run a successful business with such unpredictable risks.

Pet insurance policies not only protect your business from the worst, they also cover you for the most pressing, perhaps smaller, but ultimately costly dangers of working with pets.

Finding the complete package

As important as the pet industry is, financial margins might be slim and funds hard to come by. For this reason alone it is important to look for competitive deals when comparing pet insurance plans.

Cover is no doubt essential. Many risks are unforeseeable and largely unavoidable; mitigating against them is often the only way to ensure your pet business can continue through any disruptions.

Your insurance broker will be able to detail all the risks and create a cost-effective and tailored plan for your business. Pet insurance plans can sometimes be discounted as a joint package with a business insurance policy, meaning there is a broad scope for savings to be made.

MGA are experts in pet insurance, and we are members of the Pet Industry Association of Australia. With MGA offices all over Australia, your business will have the local help it needs to keep going in a difficult and unpredictable sector.

Contact MGA for all your business insurance needs, and let us take the lead.