Do you want to be a pet-sitter? Read this to learn more about what you need to qualify.
Pet-sitting can be a fantastic experience, even if you don’t have a pet at home (though this will come in handy). It’s a good way to understand the man-dog connection first-hand. And bonding with a dog is always a delight! Are you interested in becoming a pet-sitter?
With more and more people returning to work, dogs are having to get used to being away from their pet parents. Have you ever wondered if you could do something to help these dogs feel better? Sometimes, the pet parents might have to deal with unforeseen events and might have to travel for days on end. A boarding facility is great, but a dog is happiest in its original habitat. Just like hoomans!
Do you want to be the ultimate pet sitter and give love to all the neighbourhood dogs? Here we cover the basics.
Never cut corners as a pet-sitter
Taking care of someone else’s dog for a while is the same as taking care of a baby. You are being entrusted with a lot of responsibility. Keep the best food and other requirements available. Don’t cheap out. You can always get reimbursed later. Your employer will expect you to do this – and will appreciate you even more if you pull out all the stops.
Keep a kit handy
Go with some chew toys, a medical kit, a list of numbers that you can call in case of an emergency, and some snacks. Make sure you take a medical aid box for yourself as well. In case of an accident or if the dog bites you, you will want to have a disinfectant and some bandages in hand.
A pet-sitter knows his/her limitations
One dog is already a lot! Be honest with yourself about your capabilities, and don’t bite more than you can chew. A household with two dogs will need double the time and attention from you. Consider that before you take up any job.
Ask the right questions
Keep a list of questions handy to ask the pet parent. What is the dog’s medical history? Request the vaccination documents and prescriptions for the dog. Ask the pet parent what the dog’s quirks are. Are there places and objects that make it uncomfortable? Are there specific toys it likes? Does it not like being touched a certain way? What can you do if it gets aggressive?
Always update the employer
This is an important one. If you are pet-sitting for another person, then you HAVE to let them know how the dog is doing as often as you can. Try and call them up once a day and have a quick chat. Reassure them that everything is going alright. Send pictures and videos so that the pet parent doesn’t feel too bad about being separated from his or her dog. Try and let the dog hear the pet parent’s voice once or twice a day so that it is comfortable too. It’s small touches like this that go a long way.
A good first impression is everything. Make yourself a nice website to advertise your services. Add testimonials from other clients. Show that you’re a dependable and trustworthy pet-sitter.
Keep a clean environment
If you are pet-sitting at your place and not the pet parent’s, then you have to be comfortable with the pet parent visiting and checking your place out. Keep a clean and tidy home that is dog-friendly. You want the pet parent to be comfortable leaving the dog with you. Insist on meeting the pet beforehand.
Be a friendly and communicative pet-sitter
Remember – the best thing you can do is to show adequate knowledge of taking care of dogs. Show that you love them and that you know what you are taking on. You might get the job even if you have less experience than other sitters if you communicate well with the pet-parent and win his or her trust.
Learn how to administer medications
Your employer will be very interested to know how you administer medicines and injections. Take a training course where you learn these things and get more comfortable with handling a dog that’s in pain. A gently touch and a firm hand will take you a long way in building trust.
Buy good equipment for the job
A good pet-sitter invests in good quality leashes, harnesses, and collars for the dogs that you pet-sit. Make sure none of this equipment feels to alien to the dog. You can find good quality doggie equipment online or at proper pet stores. If the pet parent prefers that you use their equipment, then make a list of their items and keep track of it. After the job, the pet parent should be able to see that nothing is missing from their home.
Maintain the dog’s schedule
Find out from the employer what the dog’s schedule is. If the dog is used to going for a walk at 6 PM every day, you have to make sure you take the dog for a walk at that time. If the dog eats at 6 AM in the morning, you have to wake up and feed the dog at that time. Sticking to the dog’s routine is the best way to make it comfortable.