When you’re scheduling a Meet and Greet with a new client, there are few things to keep in mind. You not only want to make sure that the pet and owner are a good fit for your business, but you want to set the tone for your relationship and start off on the right foot.
Every person you meet is an opportunity to find your next repeat client. We know, meeting new people can be awkward, but if you go in with a plan, it doesn’t have to be. Keep in mind, your potential clients love animals just like you do–so you know you already have something in common!
Each booking (and each pet) is different—but the important questions remain the same. We partnered with our Dog People Panel to put together the top Meet & Greet questions that cover everything from health and safety to favorite toys and games. This list may seem intimidating, but taking the time to go through these questions will make your stays more successful and it will put pet owners at ease. After all, you’re asking them about their favorite topic–their pet.
How To Start the Meet and Greet
When you first meet a potential client, it’s great to give them some background about your experience and an overview of who you are. Remember, they want to get to know you as much as you want to get to know them! Tell them about:
- Pets you’ve had or cared for in the past.
- History of your pet sitting business and why you love pet sitting.
- Your daily routine and what your schedule is like.
- If you’re boarding, how many people live in your home.
- Is there anyone else in your home who would be helping you care for their pet.
- Any pets you have that may interact with their pet.
Once you’ve led the way by talking about your personal experience, ask them about their pet. We have tons of great questions below that will help you get the bigger picture, and help you build a relationship with your clients. The more questions you ask, the more information you’ll get and the more the client will trust you with their furry family member.
Health and Safety
When you’re watching someone’s pet, you want to be sure you have as much information as possible about their health. The following questions will help you learn more and help you assess whether you are a good fit for the dog.
Remember, the pet owner should have filled out their pet’s profile information. If they have not filled it out, you can take this opportunity to remind them to do so.
[ ] Who is the emergency contact in case you can’t be reached? This person should be local and preferably in town, be familiar with the dog, and be able to make health decisions if you aren’t reachable.
[ ] Are the care instructions listed on Rover.com up-to-date, including veterinary care instructions? Let’s go in depth into your care instructions.
[ ] Who is your preferred Vet?
[ ] Does the owner have a credit card on file with the veterinarian and is the sitter authorized to seek care if necessary? In the case of an elderly or sick dog, is there an end of life plan?
[ ] Is your pet socialized to ride in a car in case of an emergency? Is there a cat carrier I can use to transport your cat if necessary? How is your dog during car rides? Am I authorized to take the pet in my car?
Does your dog:
[ ] Have any health issues (e.g., arthritis, allergies, etc.)?
[ ] Take medication? If so, what’s their medication schedule?
[ ] Ever run away or try to get out of the yard? If this has happened before, how did you get them back?
[ ] Have a microchip?
[ ] Have up-to-date vaccinations and preventative flea treatment? (Note: As a safety precaution, we encourage owners and sitters to discuss whether pets are up to date on vaccinations or preventative flea medication. The decision of whether these treatments are required in order to provide care is left up to the individual sitter.)
Eat, Sleep, and Play Routines
Remember, all of your clients are individuals! Sticking to a pet’s routine goes a long way in making sure they’re comfortable with you. These questions will ensure you have a clear picture of the animal’s daily needs and unique behaviors.
[ ] What time does your dog usually go to bed and wake up?
[ ] Where do they usually sleep? Are they usually crated? (If you do not have a crate ask the owner if they will be providing one).
[ ] What items will you be bringing for your dog? Please ensure that all food bowls and other items are washed prior to the stay.
[ ] What’s your dog’s meal schedule? What kind of food does your dog eat? How many times a day are they fed? What are the typical portion sizes? Remind the owner that they should be bringing their dog’s food to the stay to avoid any stomach upsets.
[ ] What kind of treats do you give your dog, and how much? Is it okay for me to give them treats?
[ ] What is your dog’s usual bathroom routine? And how do they let you know when they need to go?
[ ] Is your dog used to being left alone? For how long and at what times? (Be sure to let the owner know if their dog will be left alone while in your care.)
[ ] What is your dog’s usual routine for walks, exercise, and outings?
[ ] Can you provide a harness and fixed-length leash? (They help minimize the risk of a dog slipping out or running away.) Can you show me how to correctly put on the harness? (This is especially important, make sure you take note, or even a photo, of how to put the harness on so you know how to do it right during the stay).
[ ] Does your dog have any favorite toys or games?
Behavior and Training
Not all pet owners are going to have the same perspective you do on training, so it’s best to ask them beforehand how they handle situations with their dog or cat. Remember, it’s important to be consistent with the training that your client usually receives.
[ ] Does your dog have any food aggression or instincts to protect particular toys? (Keep in mind, even if they answer no, that doesn’t mean the dog will never be food aggressive.)
[ ] How do you reward your dog for correct behavior?
[ ] How do you get your dog to come when you call?
[ ] Does your dog have any unique behaviors that are normal behavior for them (e.g., funny noises they make) or specific tendencies I should know about?
[ ] Do they have any breed-specific behaviors I should know about? For example, herding breeds may try to herd children or other pets.
[ ] When your dog is anxious or experiencing separation anxiety, what helps soothe him?
How does your dog handle being around:
[ ] Children?
[ ] Cats?
[ ] Other pets?
[ ] Other dogs?
[ ] Does your dog resource guard dog toys, bones, beds, or other items?
[ ] In what situations is your dog allowed to have treats, chews or toys? What types of treats do they prefer? Are there any types of treat you avoid?
[ ] Does your dog have any potentially risky behaviors, like getting into the trash, chewing on shoes or other items, counter surfing etc.?
[ ] Is your dog crate-trained? When does the dog go/get put in the crate and for how long?
[ ] Is there anything specifically that causes anxiety for your dog?
Services in the Client’s home (House sitting, Drop-ins, Walking)
Sometimes you might be caring for a pet in the pet owner’s home. There are a few things to consider when house sitting, dropping in, or walking a pet.
[ ] What time should the care occur? Is there flexibility?
[ ] What are any necessary supplies and where are they located? Leash, collar, harness, cleaning supplies, food, treats, etc.
[ ] What are the procedures for getting into/out of home – doors/codes/keys? Will I be able to reach you if I can’t get into the home?
[ ] If sitter is staying in client’s home, where should I sleep? What appliances/areas should I use?
[ ] Do you have a security system or cameras in your home that I should be aware of? (Regardless of answer, you should assume that there are security cameras in the home and conduct yourself accordingly.)
[ ] Are there other people that may appear in/around the owner’s home? (Housekeeper, lawn care, relatives, etc.) Are there any other pet care services booked at the time of this stay (a regular dog walker)?
[ ] Does the sitter have permission to bring anyone else into the owner’s home?
[ ] What are the sitter’s arrival and departure times? Should the sitter arrive before the owner leaves and wait until the owner arrives back home?
[ ] How should we handle getting keys before the stay and dropping them off afterward? Do we have a contingency plan regarding the keys in case the owner is delayed?
[ ] Where should I park? Is there a permitting system?
[ ] Are there any visitors I should expect like a gardener, house keeper etc?
[ ] Would you like me to get the mail/water plants? Where is the mailbox? What are the needs of the plants?
Services in the Sitter’s home (Daycare, Boarding)
If the dog is coming to stay at your home, here are some things to ask the owner beforehand. Be sure to reference the above questions about dog behavior when assessing if a dog is a good fit for your business.
[ ] What are drop-off and pick-up times?
[ ] What supplies are coming with the pet? I recommend you bring their food (portioned out for the days you’ll be gone and a couple extra just in case you get delayed), leash and harness, any medications, and treats if they have allergies. This is also a great time to list the items you do have to make your dog-guests comfortable.
[ ] Let the owner know if any other Rover dogs will be staying in the home.
[ ] Let the owner know who all will be interacting with their dog, and if you have other animals or children, ensure that their dog will get along with other members of your household.
[ ] Reiterate your house rules and ask the owner what their dog is used to (i.e. is the dog allowed on furniture, where do dogs sleep etc)
Ready to book?
If you, the dog, and the dog owner hit it off, congrats! If you both agree to book, you’ll need to make it official on Rover before the stay or walk begins. In case you need a refresher our Help Center covers how to book.
Booking and getting paid on Rover is required per our Terms of Service. It’ll also ensure you get paid two days after the stay or walk ends. Every Rover service you offer is covered by 24/7 support, access to veterinary consultation, and the Rover Guarantee.