What's the etiquette on asking pet owners for materials if you're puppy sitting?

asked 2016-03-03 17:55:57 -0500

I will be puppy sitting this weekend and while the owners were the first to say they'll bring puppy food, pads, and crates, I'm not sure, otherwise, how to bring it up.

Is it my responsibility, as a sitter, to get the puppy food and pads? Or should I be asking the owners to provide it for me?

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answered 2016-03-03 18:09:13 -0500

The expectation is the dog or puppy will come with whatever is needed for the stay. In this example, the owners already told you they'd bring the food, pads, and crates.

For future dogs/puppies, usually during the meet&greet, you can discuss what you'd like them to bring. Some sitters create checklists and send it via Rover message. Food must always be provided because if the food is changed puppy or dog can have GI (stomach, etc) upset, which is unpleasant for all. Medicine if required must also be provided. I expect the dog will come with their harness, which fits them and their tags. Everything else can be discussed and may differ. I ask for a comfort item. Ideally their bedding to snuggle in to sleep/nap or even an unwashed item of theirs (sometimes it's a toy, a blanket, sometimes owner's clothes) . If they used a fixed length leash, I'll use that too. If they use retractable, I immediately change it with one of my spare fixed leashes for safer walks.

Not all pets are crate trained and not all pets are trained to go on pads. So, if you're sitting one that is not using these, there's no crate/pads to bring. Some owners will bring their dishes. It's good to be prepared to have items that you might need if they're not supplied.

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I love the checklist suggestion! I wouldn't have thought to use that. Since I'm new, I just kind of blurt out whatever is at the top of my head whenever I do a Meet&Greet, and it's easy to forget things that way. Thank you for your suggestion! I truly appreciate it. :)

Vivian T.'s profile image Vivian T.  ( 2016-03-08 14:57:54 -0500 ) edit
answered 2016-03-04 10:44:48 -0500

During the M&G, it is very normal to discuss what the owner needs to bring with their dog. You should not feel uncomfortable requesting the basics and making suggestions for other "comfort" items the dog may like. At a minimum, the dog owner must supply food, medications (if needed), and a collar or harness with a leash. I will then make suggestions about other items they may want to include, such as a bed/crate if that is what the dog would prefer, treats, favorite toys, winter gear, bowls, etc. If they think the dog might exhibit some separation anxiety, I too will often suggest an unwashed T-shirt that the owner has worn. But I do tell them these items are optional. I do have extra bowls and beds, plus toys and treats. The day before the dropoff, i will message the owner with a reminder list of things to bring.

I do not accept puppies or dogs that use puppy pads. Since this puppy is being trained, I would expect the owner to provide whatever equipment he/she is using so that you can continue the process.

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It's good to have extra must-have's just in case the parents forget to bring it! Thank you for your suggestions. :)

Vivian T.'s profile image Vivian T.  ( 2016-03-08 14:56:49 -0500 ) edit
answered 2016-03-04 19:06:00 -0500

I send a To Bring list the week prior to the scheduled stay. The items are divided into three groups: Required, Recommended, and "Please Leave These At Home".

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Ooooh!, What is on your list of "please leave at home"? I'm sooooo curious!

Karen R.'s profile image Karen R.  ( 2016-03-04 21:54:33 -0500 ) edit

The only thing on there right now is Rawhides (both pressed and rolled)! I used to ask them to also leave behind extra-large plush beds, but then we got rid of all the carpet in our doggy area, so it's nice for the dogs to have something soft to lay on.

Leighann H.'s profile image Leighann H.  ( 2016-03-05 15:33:59 -0500 ) edit

Most clients are pretty good about bringing a reasonable amount of things for their dog, but I do have one that brings a whole bunch of extra treats and human food that I never use. I might go back and edit the list for those kinds of things.

Leighann H.'s profile image Leighann H.  ( 2016-03-05 15:36:06 -0500 ) edit

Thank you for your suggestion! I wouldn't have thought to have a "Please Leave At Home" list. That's something I'll definitely keep in mind for future stays. :)

Vivian T.'s profile image Vivian T.  ( 2016-03-08 14:55:24 -0500 ) edit

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