Pet sitting for someone usually involves caring for and entertaining their pet while they’re away, whether in your own home or the owner’s house. If you’re a dog owner yourself, watching someone else’s pup might not be that big of a deal for you. On the other hand, caring for a dog might be out of your comfort zone if you don’t have your own pets at home. Even if you’ve never had a dog, that doesn’t mean you can’t agree to dog sit. Check out these essential dog-sitting tips for beginners.
Meet the Dog Beforehand
Meeting the dog beforehand is one of the best tips for first-time dog sitters. Unfortunately, you might not know exactly how the dog will react to your presence. That said, you can get familiar with each other by meeting before the owner is away. If you can spend time with the pup more than once, that’ll be even better. After a few encounters, the dog will most likely recognize you and feel comfortable in your presence.
Follow the Owner’s Instructions
Even if you’ve never watched a dog before, following the owner’s instructions is an excellent way to be successful. If they go over everything verbally, be sure to ask questions for verification and take notes if necessary. On the other hand, many dog owners will write down specific instructions for the dog sitter to ensure they have all the information they need to care for the pup properly.
Get a phone number or two for emergency purposes—their vet can be another useful resource.
Always Use a Leash Outdoors
While many dogs don’t need to be on a leash to stay nearby, you should consider using a leash whenever you take them outdoors to ensure they don’t run off or get into anything harmful. Unless the yard has a border fence, you shouldn’t risk letting the pup run free. That said, you can use a hands-free dog walking belt if you don’t want to hold their leash while you walk.
Be Careful With Food
Human food can be incredibly dangerous for dogs, so you should be careful not to feed them anything toxic. While you might know of a few foods that dogs can’t have, consider this list of some of the most dangerous foods for your furry friend.
Now that you have these essential dog-sitting tips for beginners, you can make the most of your experience. Spending time with a fur baby can be incredibly fun, but you can’t forget that your job is to ensure you care for them according to their owner’s standards and instructions.