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Almost everyone’s a dog person but not everyone has what it takes to be a good dogsitter. On the surface it looks pretty easy, doesn’t it? Get paid to hang out with adorable little pups and feed them treats all day? Yes, please!
But good dogsitters are rare. Mainly because it needs a lot more prep than just showing up and taking the dog on walks.
If you’re thinking of dogsitting for someone soon, we’ve gotchu. Read on to see how you can be a Smart Cookie when it comes to looking after someone else’s pup:
Meet the parents
Do your best to meet the dog parents in person. Asking important, tactful questions can help you understand their likes and dislikes, the flexibility they afford their dog and any specific quirks that you need to be mindful of.
Write it down
Make note of any allergies, meds, and dietary restrictions that could help you be a better sitter. That way when the time comes, you’re not scrambling to remember important details or bothering the parents while they’re away.
You’ll also get bonus points for seeming diligent and organized.
Meet The Pup
Meeting the dog early helps you build trust and rapport, and signals to the dog that you’re someone their parents (and they) can trust.
It’ll also cue you into traits and behaviors you can plan for. Parents often lose objectivity about their dogs, so meeting them beforehand can help you understand what to expect.
Good parents will make sure the house is stocked with everything you’ll need. However, it doesn’t hurt to keep some emergency supplies on you. Carry extra waste bags, dog training treats, a couple small toys, maybe even a spare leash!
Note: Avoid feeding dogs anything (even treats) without clearing it by their parents first.
Stick to the schedule
Dogs are creatures of habit. If they’re used to taking two walks a day, stick to two. If they’re used to walks in the evenings, avoid pushing it to the night. Remember, most dogs don’t fully understand why their parents aren’t home or why a stranger is doing everything they used to. Breaking routine can add to a dog’s stress and anxiety.
Dogs can be needier when their parents are away. Shower the pup with care and affection but be mindful not to spoil them. Just because you’re looking after the dog only for a few days doesn’t mean they get to go off their diet and eat whatever they want.
Not just with the dog, but with the parents too. Send them updates periodically so that they know their pup is healthy and happy.
About Smart Cookie Barkery
Over the last 10 years, we’ve managed to make thousands of pups and their families very happy all over the US.