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Is is right to ask that I be allowed to bring my dog along when I house-sit?

asked 2016-06-22 15:12:23 -0500

I am a fairly new sitter and at the moment am trying to build up my business. For right now, I am pretty open to any job that comes available. However, when I am doing overnight stays with another family, my poor dog is stuck at home with my roommate. My dog is by no means being mistreated, but he isn't getting the care and attention he would if I were home. I am in a rental so boarding doesn't work too well for me. Do any of you only take jobs where you can bring your own dog along? Of course, I would never take my dog into a dangerous situation, but I know he gets along with other pets and has excellent manners. He sheds, but otherwise is clean. Is it too soon to start asking this of potential clients? I want to be the best possible dog sitter, but also want to give my own dog what he deserves. Any insight is helpful, thanks!

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answered 2016-06-22 20:32:00 -0500

My friend is a travel sitter and she takes her dog with her. She advertises with her dog so everyone that tries to book her knows she comes with a dog. They are a team and if they don't take her dog, she doesn't take the job. You might not get every customer you meet but some people will book you provided your dog is well behaved and potty trained. Give it a try. Write in your profile about your dog and how he loves meeting new dogs. When someone books you make sure you take lots of photos with your dog and the dog you are caring for. Post it on your profile so people can see the interaction. Owners will start leaving reviews and mention how good your dog is so other owner won't hesitate to book you.

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Frances nailed it. My dog is often referred to as "my furry assistant." Some dogs are also better when there is another dog. Several shy dogs I have done drop-ins or in-home sits for have really opened up with another dog around. Every situation is different, just be honest with the owner about it.

Lindsey T.'s profile imageLindsey T. ( 2016-07-08 11:36:38 -0500 )edit
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answered 2016-07-04 15:02:00 -0500

HI there! I have a similar situation. I had two different clients this weekend, 1 booked on Rover, 1 a new referred pet sitting client. I have two sweet dogs who get along with dogs only their size. I asked my sister who lives less than ten minutes from me to let them out so I wouldn't have to make a 45 min drive to and from the client's house to my apartment.I agree with Deb A. have a family/friend/ or even roommate take care of them for the time being while you are getting situated in the pet sitting community. I stayed at a wonderful home in a well-to-do neighborhood and I would of felt very uncomfortable bringing my dogs along because of the property (that isn't always a factor) and because I didn't think it would be appropriate with the client's dogs (it would of caused stress on my dogs as well as the client's dogs).

I did have a situation when I was meeting a prospective client and had my dogs with me after getting off from work. The client said my dogs were well behaved and could stay over night with her dog if they wanted. Even though I knew they would be fine, the client's dog was not happy and had been recently rescued and was just getting used to having a home. Because I thought my dogs' presence would add stress to her environment and to her first experience of her owner being away I decided to not bring my dogs . It is important as a pet sitter to make sure the client (the animal) and the owner are happy and if your dog's presence might affect the client's happiness then you may need to reconsider bringing him along.

All in all I believe it is a judgement call. As you build a relationship with clients I believe there will come a time where you can propose your idea to the client about your dog staying over ( if it's an extended stay and a meet and greet in a neutral environment is performed first) but for now getting someone you know and trust to let your dog out is probably the best! Hope this helps!

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answered 2016-06-22 17:58:24 -0500

It will likely be easier to build your house sitting business without the inclusion of your dog. I've found there are two predominant reasons clients book house sitting: it pertains to dogs or homes. The dogs may not be very socialized or have medical conditions. In my area, clients who book house sitting also tend to live in extremely high $$$$$$$$ valued properties and are quite particular about their homes. From some of my contacts with professional, licensed, bonded, insured dog sitting companies with their own web sites, phone systems, branded vehicles, advertising, etc. and many sitters, I know that even with many years of experience, those sitters who are dog owners leave their dogs with family/friends.

If you wanted to address the possibility of including your dog, I'd suggest putting a good amount of information about your availability (as it may relate to the time needed to also care for your dog) and your dog in the profile, and also discuss through the messages prior to a meet & greet. If approved to proceed, all dogs should be introduced before booking the stay to ensure it's the right match. *That's not to say it can't be done. It just means you may have less potential house sitting jobs than someone who doesn't bring a dog because additional factors need to be considered, in order to ensure the best match. *

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Thanks for your reply. Obviously, I haven't asked yet if my dog can come along, but I have had one or two families who have offered. I just ask because I saw someone in one of the Facebook groups I am in say that she will only sit for families who let her bring her dog along and she keeps busy.

Rachel T.'s profile imageRachel T. ( 2016-06-22 18:10:04 -0500 )edit
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answered 2016-06-22 15:54:09 -0500

For new clients I would definitely not bring this up. Their home may not be set up for additional dogs, their dog may not get along with other dogs, and the fact that he sheds would lead to maintenance and cleanup issues. As a customer, I would not want my house sitter to bring any personal pets with them. I understand you want what's best for your dog as well as your client's dog(s), but maybe house sitting is not the best option for you at this point.

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Thanks for your reply. I saw someone in a facebook group I am in say that she only sits for people who allow her to bring her own dog and she seems to keep very busy. Obviously, I don't ask people and I understand where they are coming from. If they offer, I jump at the chance. Wishful thinking.

Rachel T.'s profile imageRachel T. ( 2016-06-22 18:15:31 -0500 )edit

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