Special Needs Dog with Lack of Materials

asked 2015-05-06 19:20:00 -0600

I've sat many dogs in my short time as a sitter, but I am currently sitting two dachshund's who seem to be having difficulty adjusting to the new environment. One is a special needs dog with many many allergies. The other is perfectly okay. The client dropped them off last night for a stay of 4 nights, but did not bring anything to help their transition be smooth. No beds, crate, toys, treats or anything that would give them a sense of comfort. I have contacted the client and the way she replied showed signs of her not understanding what I had told her. She thought it was an issue with my dog, and it has nothing to do with that. They are constantly whining, marking my dogs bed and pooping when I leave. All of which is normal, but again, I have no means to help them cope with this being the client didn't leave anything and the one dog has major allergies.

I guess I am just looking for some feedback on how to go about making them comfortable given the situation. Any contact with her seems to be a dead end.


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answered 2015-05-06 21:08:07 -0600

Oh Boy I just don't get some dog owners. Whining the first day or 2 is normal. Marking not so normal. Pooping when you leave sounds like anxiety to me. Take them for long walks to tire them out, play with them, keep them entertained as much as possible. If you are going to be pet sitting for a while, as in this is your job, I really advise you to get extra of everything. I understand the dog has allergies so you might not want to give him the wrong treats, but have an extra bed around and even invest in a crate (if possible, sometimes hard to do) if not baby gates so you can confine them in an area when they start misbehaving. Also, invest in some dog toys. Ebay sells them super cheap. Before every dogs stay I send the customer a reminder of things they absolutely should bring and the bed is a must. I ask them to bring their favorite toy or even if they have a favorite blanket just to help them cope when they are adjusting to a new environment. Hope this helps, let us know how everything worked out.

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Hey Frances. Thanks for the info. I usually have a crate, but needed to give it back to the rescue. The client gave a tandem leash & the smaller dog (allergies) is being dragged everywhere. I just found out that her "crate" is her closet. She locks the dogs in a closet! I would think thats cruelty

Scott K.'s profile image Scott K.  ( 2015-05-06 21:48:41 -0600 ) edit

What!!!! This made me so angry, now you know why those dogs have problems. Not only would I say something to her when she picks up her dogs but I would report her as well. I do consider that animal cruelty & her actions from the beginning showed irresponsibility. Some people shouldn't have dogs.

Frances M.'s profile image Frances M.  ( 2015-05-07 06:09:50 -0600 ) edit

Spoke with Rover and they said it's not necessarily abuse or anything like that, but I don't know about that. I guess I really dont know the closet conditions like if there is a baby gate or anything. Still though, hearing they are in a closet is a little strange to me, regardless of how good it is.

Scott K.'s profile image Scott K.  ( 2015-05-07 09:38:33 -0600 ) edit
answered 2015-05-07 13:40:05 -0600

Yikes. Like Frances said, having extras of everything is a great idea. It doesn't have to be fancy stuff - I've got a pile of old towels that I can put down as extra bedding if I need to (and they're far easier to wash than dog beds, so if you've got markers, towels may be the way to go). I've got a couple different sized crates as well. One of the rescues in my area takes donations of dog supplies and then sells any extras at a great price. I got one of my wire crates for $20ish? I have a huge stash of toys, and I always ask the owners what type of toys their dog prefers and whether or not they're prone to tearing them up - if they're a hard chewer or stuffy destroyer, I can put away some of the softer toys before the stay so I don't have to worry about them. Another supply I'd recommend are 'blue pads' from a medical supply store. They're like puppy pads, but cheaper. If you're dealing with dogs who are going in the house while you're not there, and you aren't able to crate them, this may be your best chance to keep the house somewhat clean for the stay.

In the future, it might be worth it to create a packing checklist for owners to prepare for the stay to remind them of everything they should bring - food, medication, dog bags, leash, collar/harness, vaccination records, dog bed, crate, toys... whatever is important to you (and the dogs). You'll never be able to get people to bring 100% of the items 100% of the time, but being clear in your expectations goes a long way.

For these particular dogs, if they're marking while you're home, I'd probably go so far as to tether them to you with a lightweight leash or ribbon or whatever you have around. Tethering is a great way to get new dogs who are a bit uncomfortable settled in. They learn boundaries and you're always able to monitor them so good behaviors can be rewarded and bad behaviors can be stopped. When you're really able to give them your full attention, you can let them drag the leads in a safe area. Any accidents, and they lose freedom again. While you're away, I'd confine them somewhere safe, like a bathroom or other area that's easy to clean up. Taking long walks right before you go can help prevent the house pooping, provided you can get them to go on the walk.

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