As a sitter, you probably pride yourself on your epic stash of poop bags and stockpile of treats, but you may be missing a crucial part of being prepared—a safety plan. A safety plan details exactly what steps you’ll take to keep your dog clients safe. If you have a solid safety plan, you’ll be able prevent health and safety issues from happening—or, if something comes up, you’ll know exactly what to do. To help you get started, we’ve come up with some basic questions to inspire your personal safety plan.
What to Do if You Experience an Emergency
We know it’s scary to talk about, but it’s 100% essential to have a plan in place if you experience a medical emergency with your Rover dog and can’t reach the pet owner. Be proactive and ask the pet owner to make sure their emergency contact information is up to date on Rover—before they leave town or head out for the day. Here’s how they do that:
- From Rover.com, they can get to their profile by selecting their name in the upper right corner. From there, select Profile.
- Under “Account Info,” select Update.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page to enter emergency contact information.
We’ll provide that information to you at the start of each service, so you have it all in one convenient place. Of course, if you experience a health or safety issue, make sure to also call our Trust & Safety team at 888-727-1140, and we’ll help you through it.
Keep Kids and Other Dogs Safe
If your Rover dog will also interact with kids or other dogs (including dogs from different families), take a few extra precautions to make sure everything goes safely.
- How will you keep kids safe?
- How will you ensure that the dogs gets along? Will they meet before the stay or walk?
- How will you let every client know what other pets are in your care at the same time?
- Can you physically separate every individual dog that your profile says you accept? This is especially important during feeding time and when you leave the house.
- How will you keep dogs of a smaller size safe around larger dogs? Even in play, dogs of different sizes can inadvertently injure each other, which is why most boarding facilities and dog parks have small dog areas separated out.
- If walking multiple dogs from different clients together, how will you make sure every dog gets along?
- Is there someone in your home, or locally, that can help you if an emergency occurs and you need help caring for the dogs? If so, add them to your emergency contacts, and make sure you tell them you’ve done so. If you provide day care or house sitting, it’s a good idea to give them a copy of your house key.
Prevent Escape Artists
Dogs are curious creatures, and—if they get a whiff from a barbecue down the block—they may run off. Here are some questions we recommend considering while creating your safety plan.
- How will you keep dogs from jumping over your fence or balcony? Check for loose gate latches and fence posts.
- How will you keep dogs from getting under your fence? Be especially careful with tiny dog breeds, they are the perfect size to slip through the gaps under gates and fences.
- How will you keep dogs from slipping their leashes? Harnesses tend to be safer than collars, and fixed-length leashes safer than flexi-leads.
- How will you keep dogs from slipping out of home or car doors? Exercise pens are great ways to add an extra barrier to the front door. We suggest blocking car doors with your body until you have a firm grip on the leash.
- If having guests, lawn mowers, package deliverers, or house cleaners over, how can you prevent them from letting dogs out of the front door or fence gate?
Prevent Common Household Hazards
It’s no secret that dogs are super talented at getting into things they shouldn’t (and then acting appropriately ashamed afterwards). Help them avoid temptation by taking a few easy precautions.
- How will you dog proof someone else’s home? Pro tip: bring over baby gates!
- If your client is having house cleaners, package deliverers, or lawn mowers over, how can you prevent them from letting dogs out of the front door or fence gate?
- If you’re staying in your client’s home overnight, how will you prevent dogs from getting things like medication out of your suitcase?
- How will you prevent dogs from getting into trash cans?
- When offering walking, how will you make sure the dogs stay safe and can’t get into anything when you leave them home alone?
- If a dog picks up something that he shouldn’t have, how will you safely get the dog to drop it?
When it comes to a safety plan, it’s never one-size-fits-all. But preparing for those just-in-case situations will help you provide better care, earn loyal clients, and handle sticky situations like a rockstar. And don’t forget—you’re never alone. Our Trust & Safety team is here 24/7 and always ready to jump into action.