The Difference Between A Pet Care Employee VS Independent Contractor

May 8, 2021 | Personal Insurance

Around fifty-four percent of American families own a pet. You may be one of the pet parents seeking pet care providers’ services to groom or train your pets. You may have plans to hire pet sitters to take care of your pets while you are at work or on a vacation. Before you go on the quest of searching for the best pet care provider, think about this question first. Do you know that some pet care companies hire pet care employees, while others use independent contractors?

Why is it important to know the difference between pet care employees and independent contractors? It is beneficial to know the difference between the two, as it affects the quality of service and cares your pet will get. It is best to choose a pet care service that will give quality care and value to your money.

Getting the best pet sitter for your pet is not easy. There are lots of things to consider in choosing the best candidate for the position. One important thing to consider when getting the services of pet care providers is their worker’s status. Worker’s status affects the quality of care your pet is going to receive.

Pet Care Employee VS Independent Contractor

  • Adherence to Company Policies and Procedures

Pet care companies enforce company policies and procedures on their employees. While independent contractors are not governed by the employer. Employees follow specific work instructions and manuals. This helps in maintaining outstanding pet care services. Management requires employees to report work progress. This is to ensure employees render excellent services to clients. 

Pet Care Employees adheres to:

  • Employee Manual
  • Work Instruction, Hours, and Schedule
  • Accident Reporting Policy
  • Emergency Policy and Procedure
  • Flexible Schedule

Employers have control over their employee’s schedules while contractors follow their schedules. Pet care employees often work full-time to accommodate client’s preferred schedules. This helps in building a good business-client relationship.

Independent contractors work on their schedules. Pet care companies who hire independent contractors don’t follow a master schedule and assign whoever is available. This limits continuity and quality of service and hinders good client relationships.

  • Professional Training and Certification

Employees are provided with professional training and certification. This is to ensure employees will provide excellent and high-quality service to customers. Independent contractors are not eligible to receive company-provided training. Many independent contractors do not undergo continuous skills training due to financial costs.

It is best to hire employees as they are professionally trained. They can handle pets with medical conditions and behavioral problems. They are ideally perfect to provide care for pets with special diets, medical conditions, and the elderly. 

Pet care employees are usually trained and certified to do the following:

  • Pet CPR and First Aid
  • Animal Behavior
  • Animal Care
  • Safety Measures
  • Emergency Response 
  • Availability of Continuous and Consistent Service

Pet care employers can assign a specific employee to a client. Continuous and consistent service promotes trust and rapport between pet sitters and customers. Continuous and consistent care develops your pet’s sense of routine, comfort, and familiarity. A consistent pet sitter can analyze pet behavior and personality. A pet sitter who’s already familiar with a pet can easily recognize if the pet is acting abnormally or ill.

Independent contractors follow their schedules. Pet care agencies cannot control their work schedule. This makes it hard for the employer to assign a regular working schedule between IC and clients. Lack of consistency with a pet sitter may bring stress to pets.

  • Service Exclusivity

Employees solely work for pet care agencies. Independent contractors are allowed to work for multiple companies or clients. Employee-based pet care providers create a master schedule to ensure all clients are accommodated. 

  • Accountability and Liability 

Pet care providers with hired employees are legally required to provide insurance to their employees. This guarantees the accountability and liability of companies in case of accidents and injuries. Independent contractors provide insurance for themselves. Insurance premium costs may tend to be costly, that’s why some self-employed individuals do not get it. 

Type of Insurance Provided to Employer for:

  • Worker’s Compensation Insurance Coverage

This insurance covers medical expenses for employees who suffer occupational injuries and sickness. An employee may encounter an accident while a pet is sitting in your house. This gives extra points knowing you are protected from possible accidents and risk liabilities.

  • Business Liability Insurance

This provides protection and security to clients. Any injuries or damages a pet may encounter under the supervision of a pet care employee will be covered by liability coverage. Liability insurance will cover the medical expenses associated with an accident. It will also cover damages in your house associated with pet accidents. 

  • Client Management System

Companies that hire pet care employees have a better client management system. They manage employee’s schedules, work instructions, and arrangements. This facilitates effective and efficient pet care services. Independent contractors need more time to effectively manage and serve clients as they are often one-man shows. 

  • Experience

Pet care providers have highly trained and experienced employees. They are trained to provide grooming, training, or sitting services based on the pet’s needs. Pet care providers are not allowed to provide training to independent contractors. 

  • Communication

Clients can easily communicate with the company’s management. They can give feedback and concerns about the pet sitter’s service and performance. Management can discuss this with their employees. On the other hand, management doesn’t have control over the independent contractor’s work performance.

  • Custom-tailored Services

Pet care providers with hired employees can provide custom-tailored services. They can accommodate client’s needs and preferences. You can choose a pet sitter and services that will suit your pet’s needs. Employee-based pet care companies often arrange a meet and greet between the employee, pet, and client. This will allow familiarity between the employee and pet. It will also give clients a chance to determine if the pet care provider is fit for their pet. 

Contractor-based pet care companies cannot give specific work instructions to their workers. It is hard to request a customized pet care service from an IC-based company because they don’t have control over IC’s schedule and work performance.

Pet Care Services you can customize:

  • Dog walking 
  • Dog hiking 
  • Dog park visits
  • Training
  • Pet sitting for any type of animal
  • Emergency visits 
  • Overnight Stays
  • Cat litter cleaning
  • Medication and vitamins administration
  • Pet waste clean up
  • House and home security checks
  • Indoor and outdoor plant watering
  • Pet food pick-up and delivery
  • Specified and customized dog and cat exercise program
  • Pet taxi
  • Pet wedding attendant
  • Reliability

Pet care companies with hired employees usually have backup plans and procedures in case something went wrong. They can easily send another employee in case the assigned employee is sick. Whereas, independent contractors usually operate on their own. This makes it hard to find a replacement for IC.

  • Background Checked

Pet care companies perform a rigorous background check when hiring an employee. Apart from that, employees undergo a meticulous recruitment process. This ensures excellent quality care and service to clients. If you wish to deal with an independent contractor, you may have to bear the tedious burden of doing the background check.

Employee Recruitment Process:

  • Questionnaire application

This will gauge the applicant’s knowledge about animal care and behavior.

  • Background Check

This will help the verification of employment history.

  • Face to face Interview

This will determine the applicant’s skills and personality. This will help in determining the applicant’s suitability for the job role.

  • Ride-along interaction with animals

It is essential to determine how the applicant behaves and interacts with pet animals. This will show the applicant’s skill in animal care and behavior.

  • Equipment and Facilities

Pet care companies provide their employees with complete equipment, supplies, and facilities. This provides excellent and appropriate pet care services to their clients. Independent contractors provide their equipment, supplies, and facilities. Self-employed workers usually have incomplete equipment and facilities because of financial costs. This can affect the quality of care and service they render.

Instances like busy work schedules, cross-state work events, or vacations prompt the need for a pet sitter. As much as we want to bring our pets with us, situations may not permit us. Getting the service of a pet sitter greatly benefits pets as well as pet owners. 

Benefits of Professional Pet Sitter to your Pets

  • Secured environment 

Home is the most secure environment for pets. It is much better to get the service of a pet sitter that will come to your home. This will help in the pet’s comfort and familiarity.

  • Regular house routine

With the help of a pet sitter, your pets can enjoy the same house routine they are used to. This prevents pet trauma and separation anxiety.

  • Personal care and attention

Hiring a pet sitter provides personal and undivided care and attention to your pets.

  • Accessibility to medical emergency treatment, if needed

A professional and skilled pet sitter can recognize a medical emergency in your pet. A pet sitter can bring your pet to the nearest vet hospital if needed. In terms of medical emergencies not associated with accidents, it is ideal to purchase personal pet insurance for your pets. This will help in easy and fast accessibility to medical treatments for your pets, especially when you’re away. 

Everyone can suffer from accidents and illnesses every day, including your pets. Insurance coverage is ideal not only for humans but for pets as well. Personal pet insurances cover various medical treatment expenses depending on the chosen coverage. It will greatly help in providing protection and care to your pets. 

Types of Pet Insurance Coverage:

  • Accident-only

This covers medical expenses associated with accidents in 12 months.

  • Time-limited

This insurance policy covers qualified medical conditions up to a specified amount. This policy covers every new medical condition but has a financial limit of 12 months.

  • Maximum Benefit

This covers every single new medical condition up to the financial ceiling, for as long as the policy is active and in force. Medical claims can be made every year as it doesn’t have a time limit. A pet’s medical condition will be considered pre-existing once the financial limit is reached. It will also be excluded from liability claims.

  • Lifetime

This policy provides comprehensive coverage. It protects your pet throughout its lifetime, provided that the policy is active and renewed annually.  It will cover all new medical conditions up to the financial limit. Once the financial limit is reached every insured year, the coverage for the specific condition stops. Coverage of financial limit per medical condition will resume every renewal date.

  • Maintaining medical treatment

A pet sitter can continue giving medicine and vitamins to your pets if required. They are trained and knowledgeable to dispense medicine to animals.

  • Prevention of trauma and separation anxiety

Pets can suffer trauma and separation anxiety if they are left in boarding kennels. Staying at home promotes comfort and familiarity. It prevents pets from suffering trauma and separation anxiety.

  • Ensure good health

Staying at home with a pet sitter ensures a healthy environment for your pets. Unlike boarding kennels, staying at home prevents mixing with other pets. 

Benefits of Pet Sitter to Pet Owners

  • Assurance of quality care for pets

Hiring a pet sitter assures pet owners that beloved pets will receive quality care while they are away.

  • Convenience

It is much convenient to arrange for a pet sitter to come to your house and take care of your pets. This will also give you a chance to check your pets through a home surveillance camera. You can also opt for extra services like home security checks, watering plants, garbage disposal, etc. 

  • Flexibility

A lot of pet service companies offer flexible and customized pet care services according to your needs.

  • Avoid burdens

This avoids the burden of asking a favor from family relatives and friends to look out for your pets.

Getting the service of a professional pet care employee could be costly. But it will give you assurance and security that your pet is well taken care of while you are away. As pet parents, we want to provide our pets the best care possible. Part of providing quality care to your pets is providing insurance coverage. This will ensure that they will get the best care and treatment in case of accidents and illnesses. It will also protect you from hefty vet expenses.

Advantage Insurance Solutions helps pet parents to protect their pets. We offer customized insurance coverage to ensure we meet our client’s protection and financial needs. AIS partners with numerous pet parents in Denver, Colorado in providing insurance protection to their pets. To know more about our pet insurance plans, call us now at 720-221-8168.