As a pet sitter, you’re in the habit of checking boxes on your pre-stay to-do list. Making sure you prepare your home—or the pet parent prepares theirs—for a safe stay should be right up there with restocking poop bags. So what exactly should you do to prepare for a safe stay?
1. Supervise when they’re outside.
Dogs can be escape artists. Supervise them at all times, even in a fenced yard or on a balcony. Even if your own dog has ignored that hole in the fence for years, a new dog might see it as an opportunity to explore the neighborhood. Read more about how to keep dogs safely in bounds.
2. Add extra protection around doorways to the outside.
When going in and out, make sure dogs stay inside by blocking the path out of the house and car doors. Open doors only far enough for you to get through, and use a second barrier like an exercise pen or baby gate for added security. If you’re staying in the pet parent’s home, ask what kinds of barriers you can use.
3. Dog-proof more than you think you need to.
Pick up anything that can fit in a dog’s mouth, assume purses and counters are within a dog’s reach, and bet that a puppy will put anything in their mouth that they can get to. You’d be surprised what a dog will eat!
4. Give them their own space.
You never know how dogs from different families will interact in a new environment, even if they’ve met before. Feed dogs separately and give them their own hangout spaces when you’re not home. Pay special attention when allowing small dogs to play or interact with larger dogs.
5. Save our numbers (and know when to use them).
- For run-of-the-mill questions around how to use the site or other general info, call our Support team at 888-453-7889.
- For health and safety concerns during a stay, call our Trust & Safety team at 888-727-1140. Give us a call right away, and we’ll help you through it.
Part of the joy of being a sitter is getting to know new dogs and pet parents, and you grow with every experience. You learn you don’t mind picking up slobbery tennis balls (or maybe you do) and you can handle indoor potty accidents, no problem. If you take the right safety precautions, you’re much more likely to have a fun, low-drama stay with nothing more serious than a lost tennis ball or two.