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Do you take in dogs without meet and greet?

asked 2017-02-23 12:02:09 -0500

Hi! I have a dog owner who couldn't come today for meet and greet and wants to drop her dog off tomorrow for the weekend. It's a first time client with a maltese. The answers on rover questions about dog friendliness towards other dogs and house training were answered with "maybe". I am a little concerned as I had very bad experience with a couple of stays without meet and greet. That included a dog in dying condition and a dog with fleas.

So she asks if she can drop the dog off at 8 am tomorrow. I send her the list of questions regarding her dog's behavior, habits and health. She said she would answer them today. I am not sending her payment request because I don't want to commit to her dog until I meet her. However, I don't want to make her think that all is arranged either because she plans to travel tomorrow and it will be difficult to find another sitter. Should I just tell her no?

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My take on this is look at the online picture. Inspect it carefully. If the dog looks happy and things are real clean, and there are toys and things, then good. The first key is squireliness. If the owner is flaky, always changing there times, RUN.

Michael C.'s profile image Michael C.  ( 2017-02-23 13:51:41 -0500 ) edit

I would request a video call with the dog instead of inspecting the photo sent that photo could be old.

Olivia C.'s profile image Olivia C.  ( 2017-02-27 17:31:27 -0500 ) edit

10 Answers

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answered 2017-02-23 12:04:41 -0500

I would never take a dog without meeting them first, even if it belongs to a friend. It's hard to assess real behavior by just going off of what the owner says and sometimes they stretch the truth. You are responsible for their safety and ultimately you have the power to decide if you can safely achieve that even if it means losing money or a customer, it's much safer in the long run.

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I am thinking to offer a client that I and my dog will come over to her house for meet&greet. If she can't do it then I will not take her dog in. Might be too much trouble with a cat in the bag.

Olga K.'s profile image Olga K.  ( 2017-02-23 12:28:51 -0500 ) edit

I have discovered that sometimes, even a meet and greet does not prepare you for a dog's "true nature".

Jessica M.'s profile image Jessica M.  ( 2017-03-02 15:47:52 -0500 ) edit
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answered 2017-02-23 14:09:01 -0500

I always encourage meet and greets but sometimes the requests can be so sudden that there's no time. Always ask to at least see their vaccine record to make sure they are up to date.

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answered 2017-03-04 17:27:34 -0500

I do take dogs without meet and greet, but ask all important questions first. Some of them will lie to you anyway if they really need to you to petsit. If you are nervous about the dog, go with your instinct.

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answered 2017-02-23 13:38:01 -0500

I always try to do a meet and greet before, but I have taken in a couple of clients without and it turned out fine. However, I did the same thing: I sent a list of questions to the owners to better understand the dog. Maybe I have just been lucky....

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answered 2017-02-23 13:13:39 -0500

Personally I would require meeting a dog before saying that I would care for them simply because you never know what to expect. While the dog is in your care you are 100% responsible for it, so if something ends up not going well, you could be liable. Good luck figuring this out!

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answered 2017-03-20 15:13:31 -0500

I do not take a dog without a meet and greet because you do not know what you are getting if you do not. Just because a photo shows a happy dog does not mean that it is a happy dog with other dogs. Just because the photo shows a dog within your weight range, does not mean that this dog is now in that range. It is always best to meet the dog and owner, not just to meet the dog but for your dogs (if you have them) to meet them.

Just remember, if you do not do a meet and greet and they drop off a dog that is out of control once they leave, you may be stuck with that dog. If you do a meet and greet, you get an idea of how the dog is and how it acts with the owner not in sight.

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answered 2017-03-06 16:10:34 -0500

Thanks everyone! I ended up driving to the client and meeting the dog. The dog turned out to be sweet and well-behaved. I will still require meet and greet in the future. Many problems like aggression or uncontrolled marking can be spotted right away.

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answered 2017-03-04 21:50:22 -0500

I offer last minute bookings, so I understand there will not be a whole lot of time for meet and greets in those situations. I do believe that there is a place which you can indicate how many days in advance a booking can be made so that could help you. It's usually 50/50 on how good the dog is, but the worst one was an owner who contacted me at 11pm for next day drop off, that was the absolute worst experience I have had with a dog, but I think my low rates at the time also had something to do with that. But since then I will require at least noon the day before for bookings and be sure in those cases to ask as many questions as possible, if the owner is responsible they will understand that you are only try to make sure that you and the dog are a good fit.

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answered 2017-02-23 13:23:15 -0500

I did once, and I will never do it again! The owner was in a bind and needed to go out of town that evening. The dog was quite destructive with her toys and ended up consuming a piece and vomitting for the rest of the stay.

Owner's descriptions of dogs are unfortunately not always accurate, and they are based on the owner's experience with the dogs and not how the dog acts around strangers.

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Honestly, though, would you really have been able to predict that through a meet and greet? I can get a feel for the dog's energy level, but that's about it.

Jessica M.'s profile image Jessica M.  ( 2017-03-02 15:47:13 -0500 ) edit
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answered 2017-03-02 15:46:18 -0500

I have taken almost all of my clients without a meet and greet, but I have my home set up really well. It doesn't matter if they are dog aggressive, or hyper, or barkers, or are not potty trained, because I'm set up to handle all that. The nightmare dogs do happen, but between us, there is very little I have experienced that would have come out in a meet and greet, anyway.
You can tell a lot by the dog's picture alone (energy level, etc.).

It's totally fine to do it this way, as long as you can handle problem dogs as they come up.

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