Every pet sitter has a very important job. Pet owners trust that their pets will be well taken care of. As a professional pet sitter, whether experienced or novice, it’s important to self-evaluate and always be improving. Here’s a list that if followed, may make every pet sitting job go smoothly.
Do Work Before The Appointment
Once you’re contacted by a prospective client and have a date to watch their pets, it’s a good idea to set a time to meet the animals beforehand. This is especially important if the client has a nervous dog. It will make pet sitting when the owner is gone much smoother. This way the pet can meet you when their owner is still around and this will make them feel more comfortable when you come over and the owner is gone.
If you are watching a dog, do a little research on the breed of the dog so you know its tendencies and needs. Check out the site dogtime.com for a profile on almost any dog breed. This knowledge will help you impress your client and make you an overall better pet sitter.
Discuss Expectations and Needs
While you are on the phone with the clients or even when you are meeting their pet for the first time, it would be a great time to discuss the pets individual needs. Some pets have weird quirks that are totally normal for the owner but if you are there by yourself it may be hard to handle. So, discuss and take note of the special needs your client’s pets have. This will help your client trust you much more!
Clearly State Your Rates
Having what each of your services cost posted somewhere visible, like a website, is a great way to avoid any confusion when it comes to paying you. If you don’t have a website then a flyer is better than nothing.
You may even want to make up a contract that details everything that you are hired to do. That way everything is out in the open and you won’t forget to do anything and the owner won’t underpay you.
Stand Out During Your Stay
If you want to leave an unforgettable impression, then try going above and beyond by tidying up the house. You weren’t hired to be a maid so don’t go crazy but vacuuming the floors or furniture and doing some dishes would make sure your clients would think of you first next time they need someone to watch their pets.
Leave Them a Note
Most pet owners worry that the part of their family they had to leave behind is doing okay. An idea that will surely delight them when they return is to leave them a note outlining the different adventures that you and their pet(s) went on, how they were in general, and show appreciation for being able to watch their pet and tell them that they can contact you if they have any questions.
Stick to the Schedule
A lot of people have cameras in their houses and they will check in on you and their pets. This means that if you are in the house when the dog is scheduled to be on a walk, the owners will not be happy.
Sending pictures to your client will help ease their fears that their dog is being taken care of properly. Showing them their dog running in the park or their cat purring peacefully will let them know that they made the right choice in hiring you.
If anything goes wrong when you are taking care of a client’s pets then you may be held liable to pay for damages. For example, what if the house you are pet sitting in burns down? What if the dog you are caring for eats something bad and gets sick or falls down the stairs and hurts their leg? If you need to pay for vet bills or get taken to court for more expensive damages, then without insurance you could be on the hook to pay for them yourself.
Get pet sitter insurance and have the peace of mind that you could be covered in the event something goes wrong. For details on what a pet sitter policy covers click here.
The difference between a good pet sitter and a great one is the attention to detail and going the extra mile. This will make you stand out and surely get you more repeat business.