Pet sitting is an incredible learning experience that never ends. With every new customer and pet, pet sitters claim to have acquired something new each time. If you’re an owner looking for someone to come care for your trusty pup companion, you’re probably wondering how your chosen dog sitter will adjust to your precious pooch’s needs. Or perhaps you’re a sitter just looking for some extra advice on how to be a dog’s new best friend — look no further, as we’ve devised a list of top tips to help potential dog sitters prepare for their time with a new furry friend.
While you get excited at the prospect of having a new furry companion for a couple of days, you must remember they need a lot of care and attention — probably even more so than you first realised. Every dog sitting opportunity comes with a great number of responsibilities, and that’s why we’ve devised a list of our best dog sitting tips to make sure your new companion stays happy, healthy and secure.
- Always be realistic
Think about the breed of dog you want to look after and whether you can adapt your lifestyle to their needs. For example, if you’re not big on long and regular walks, a young Collie may not be your best option. Or perhaps the old Jack Russell you’re keen to meet doesn’t seem quite as keen for that hike across the hills. Think logically — always put the needs of the dog first.
- Know your limitations
As well as being realistic, you must always know your limitations. Put yourself in a position where a dog may need to be carried, for example. If you’ve got a mildly sore back, the thought of lifting a 70kg Newfoundland may not be pleasant, and you could, unfortunately, be worse off than before.
- ‘Your place or mine?’
When dog sitting, you could either be asked to keep the dog in your own home or stay in the pup’s palace. If they are coming to stay in your home, make sure everything is dog-proof — this can change depending on your chosen companion’s behaviour. If she’s a chewer, hide your shoes and small objects that could be accidentally swallowed. If they’re a young dog, be aware that toilet training might not be perfected — perhaps protect your favourite rug or plant from accidental puddles.
Meet your new companion prior to the dog sit
Not only do we suggest meeting your four-legged friend prior to the dog sit, but their owner too. This will give you the opportunity to ask any questions about the dog and the home they live in to make sure it’s a comfortable stay. The dog will probably enjoy giving you a quick sniff while you chat to the owner – if dogs see that their owner is comfortable around a new human, they are most likely to feel settled too.
As with any human or animal, first impressions always count. The owner will be watching to see how you interact with their furry family member and also with themselves! It’s important that sitter and owner get along too which further adds to the trust of their new-found relationship.
Preparation is always key. Make sure to ask the dog owner for any tips and tricks on how to keep their dog happy and their home safe and secure. TrustedHousesitters’ owner members will fill out a ‘Welcome Guide’ for their sitters prior to the dog sit, meaning they can review and ask questions. The ‘Welcome Guide’ includes an array of information, from Wi-Fi codes and oven instructions to Rover’s food supplements and veterinary contact details.
Stick to their routine
Regular and reliable routine is so important to all domestic doggies. Being creatures of habit, dogs have a particular viewpoint on the world which can be dramatically changed in accordance with the environment they’re in. If they stay in their home, they want to know that they’ll be waking up, eating, and sleeping all in their usual and stable time slots. By being a pet sitter, you offer to keep the dog in their own environment and stick to a routine which alternatively, kennels, could not offer.