Pet care business safety tips

Protect your pet care business, employees, and customers with proper safety practices to avoid dog bites, heat exhaustion, and accidents.

Dog being bathed at grommers.

Unleashing the risk: best practices for safe pet handling

Businesses such as dog walkers, pet groomers, pet trainers, mobile pet care, pet sitting, pet daycare, and pet boarding all face unique risks. Protect your pet care business, employees, and customers with proper safety practices and effective training.

Prevent dog bites

To avoid dog bites, get to know each of your customers and their dogs. Learn about any triggers the dogs may have, and document it on their customer file for future visits.

Dogs biting employees

Even good dogs can bite under certain circumstances. Decrease the chance of injury by properly educating employees on safety and prevention. Approach animals calmly, use gentle handling techniques, and be mindful of their body language to detect any signs of discomfort, stress, or triggers.

Dogs biting customers

Dogs may feel uncomfortable and overwhelmed with strangers or a new environment. Implement a strategic pick-up and drop-off procedure to separate dogs from people. Keep dogs in a secured location after drop-off to limit the customer-dog interactions and reduce the chance of biting.

Dogs biting other dogs

All dogs should be secured at all times and kept in separate areas to prevent interactions and possible aggressive behavior between the dogs.

Avoid slips and falls in your pet care business

Animal hair, waste, cleaning products, and wet surfaces can contribute to slips and falls in the workplace. Remember these safety guidelines to avoid slips and falls.

Employee slips and falls

Regularly monitor and promptly clean any pet accidents, spills, or wet areas. Require employees to wear slip-resistant footwear to help prevent slips, falls, and injuries.

Customer slips and falls

Keeping customers safe is essential when running a business. Use caution signs near wet areas, place nonslip mats by the entrance, and reduce uneven surfaces with ramps or signs to help protect your customers from injury.

Pet slips and falls

If pets are placed on a table or another elevated surface during their appointment, properly secure them to prevent them from falling. Anchor the equipment to help prevent it from moving or tipping over while in use.

Pets on the loose

Losing a pet under your care can be a distressing situation for both the business and the pet owner. To mitigate the risks associated with losing a pet, it is important to take the following preventive measures.

Pets escaping

Properly secure enclosures, maintain regular supervision, and train employees on proper handling procedures for securing and transporting all pets. Ensure pets are secured with leashes, kennels, or closed areas at all times to reduce the risk of escape.

Heat exhaustion

Pet care businesses like dog daycares and kennels are the most susceptible to heat exhaustion, as many have large outdoor areas. Heat exhaustion can occur rapidly, but it can also be prevented with proactive measures. Limit the amount of time spent outside during warmer weather to prevent heat exhaustion for both employees and dogs.

Employee heat exhaustion

OSHA recommends water, rest, and shade as prevention, as well as treatment, for heat-related illness. Implement scheduled rotations, shaded areas for breaks, and lightweight protective gear to promote a safe, comfortable working environment.

Pet heat exhaustion

Pets need access to fresh water 24/7. Only allow them to be in hot conditions for short periods of time, and offer shaded areas and a cool alternative environment at all times.

Watch for pets who may have symptoms such as excessive panting, weakness, lethargy, rapid breathing, drooling, and vomiting as they are at risk of heat exhaustion. If a dog is experiencing these symptoms, they may be suffering from heat stroke. Move the dog into a shaded or air conditioned area, use ice packs or cold towels to help cool them down, and seek advice from a veterinarian. Learn more about keeping pets safe in the heat from the Humane Society of the United States.


Property damage due to animal behavior can happen quickly, but many incidents can be prevented. Accident prevention and effective risk management can minimize disruptions and financial losses.

Employee accidents

Properly train your staff to keep your business consistent and cohesive. Train your employees on proper usage and maintenance procedures. Encourage responsible equipment handling to minimize the risk of accidents and subsequent damage.

Pet accidents and chewing

Pets may scratch, chew, or pull on equipment like cages, toys, grooming tools, and furniture. Durable, pet-friendly equipment can lessen this risk, and provide a longer life for the equipment. Reduce the risk even more with proper pet supervision to prevent them or stop them from damaging equipment.

Transportation damage

It is common for mobile pet care businesses, such as trainers or groomers, to transport equipment from location to location. Using appropriate procedures and transportation vehicles are important steps to preventing damage or loss. Check out our driving safety tips to ensure your employees are trained well on driving safety.

Property damage

Whether damage to your property is caused by an accident or weather, protecting your business property ensures the preservation of your financial assets and the long-term stability of your business. Both preventative safety measures and the right insurance coverages are important to include in your business plans.

Property fire

Install smoke detectors and fire alarms throughout your pet care facility. Remember to check these systems regularly to ensure they are functioning properly.

Choosing a building that has sprinkler coverage or adding a sprinkler system to your building is the best way to protect your business from a fire loss. Fire extinguishers should be located throughout your facility and serviced on an annual basis by a qualified contractor. Small fires can be extinguished quickly with the right equipment and trained personnel.

Storm damage

Protect your pet care business from weather damage to help ensure the safety of the animals, employees, and the property itself. This is best done by conducting regular maintenance and inspections of your building and its surroundings. Using a building maintenance checklist to note the condition of the building and areas that need repair can assist in tracking and deciding what is a priority.

Added protection beyond these safety tips

The risks involved in your pet care business can be minimized with the above safety tips and guidelines. For added protection, we offer a range of business insurance coverages that can help cover costs associated with incidents, injuries, damages, and lawsuits.

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Our independent agency partners will help you compare coverages and share industry insights as you shop for the right insurance policy for your needs.

Coverages may not be available in all states. Coverages described are subject to all the terms and conditions of the policy, including deductibles, exclusions, and limits of liability. Not all agents are authorized to write all types of insurance. Policies may be underwritten by SECURA Insurance Company or SECURA Supreme Insurance Company, affiliated companies referred to collectively as SECURA Insurance Companies. Please read the policy carefully. Any claim example is for educational and informational purposes only. The information in this document will not be used to determine the coverage of an actual claim presented. All claims are adjusted based on the relevant facts, conditions and coverages at the time of loss. For specific terms and conditions, please refer to your coverage form. Coverage is also subject to applicable deductibles and limits of coverage.

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