What I Learned From Dog Sitting

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As you may have read, Julie recently took  a little vacation out of the country. Sounds amazing, but anyone who has been fortunate to make such trips know how much preparation can go into it. The least of which include one’s fur babies! While she was out of town, Julie asked if I could check up on and take care of hers.

I was a little hesitant because I’d never previously taken care of dogs. But she offered to pay, and my general rule for new things is to do them if I want to and think that I can. If you’re going to be in a similar position or thinking about doing it on the side, perhaps you can learn from my experience.

Basics

I’d seen Julie’s and her boyfriend’s dogs plenty of times, but I’m not gonna lie– when I came over to get acquainted with their care, I had forgotten one of their names and was just casually waiting for Julie to call them. ????

Have a notepad to record names and contact information. If your clients, friends, or otherwise pet parents live in an apartment, make sure to get the keys and other arrangements like a guest pass to get through security.

Food

Another great idea to jot down is what pets are supposed to eat especially when there are specific dietary conditions. Luckily, Rocky and Cece’s meals were simple, but I still managed to mess up! I think I gave more than necessary from a homemade mix. Julie made sure that we did have extra food though. Ask where the treats are!

Play

One thing I didn’t prepare for is how social dogs and having a dog is. They were cooped up most of the day, so I would take them to a nearby dog park. This was great because the puppy has a lot of energy. So much so that if there were other dogs, she’d usually chase them around and say hello to their owners.

There is plenty of small talk to be made from what dog names are to how old or what breed they are or how long you’ve had them. I knew how old Rocky and Cece were, but I don’t know breeds!

Clean Up

Having a cat, another thing I forgot about when it comes to dogs, is that you have to take them out yourself! To be honest, it really wasn’t that big of a deal. At least for her older dog. Cece is still a puppy and training and seemed to have to pee every hour. Know where to dispose of waste and how to clean up not only outside but indoors. If you have a young puppy, you may have to do some laundry.

Additionally, it’s been raining here, so Cece did get muddy. Dog parents may know the ins and outs of a bath, but I definitely didn’t. You might be able to forgo a bath over a weekend, but if you have similar weather, check with the owners for towels or what you can do.

 

By the time my pet sitting stint was completed, I was more than happy to be returning the leashes and collars. If you are considering dog watching, consider how long you will be taking care of them and if they’re house-trained. Since I wasn’t staying with the pups, I was driving back and forth and waking up early to let the little one out. Perhaps if you are a dog person it’s not a big deal, but I’m definitely ready to take care of some cats!

Do you pet sit and have any tips? What does your pet sitter have to know?

Stef

Contributor

Got a tip? Email skafvs@gmail.com

17 Comments
  1. Omgg was that the puppy you dogsat? I would love to do this as a side job, but sometimes I’m afraid I wouldn’t know how to handle dogs if they were to get into a fight with another dog or even a human! I love dogs so much though.

    1. Yep, that’s her! Yeah, you definitely have to be very direct or else you’re going to be outside in the park all day!

  2. I had a dog but he passed away, sadly. These are great tips. The most important thing is to play with them, they can get lonely

  3. These are great tips. I have a cat, but whenever we have to leave somewhere and have a pet sitter, I leave a long list with instructions – habits, food, toys, medical contacts – in case anything is needed!

  4. I love pet sitting! I just did so over the weekend and I enjoyed the animals so much. While there may be a lot to care for a dog, I feel the time spent snuggling is so worth it. lol.

  5. That puppy looks adorable 🙂 My Teddy bear (Lab mix) is 15 months old now…basically grown up but we still see him as a baby 😀
    For an extra info I would add to my list that he loves to swim 🙂 That’s more interesting and more fun to everyone than a simple walk.

  6. Oh, this was cute! I haven’t got a dog or any other pet, but can imagine that you need to make preparations when spending time with them and looking after them 🙂

  7. I’ve never pet-sitted before, i don’t have many close friends with dogs 😀 It seemed fun though, even though i knew it comes with certain difficulties. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  8. Great tips! We are traveling with our dog for the first time this September so this post is perfect timing! XO

    ANNA

  9. Your post made me smile. We have three dogs and three cats. In fact .. I was just toweling them off after they were outside in the rain. You’re so right that puppies are a lot more work. Whenever we go out of town .. they sleep over at the dog spa. Therefore our neighbor only has to come check in on the kitties.