Elizabeth S.'s profile

Recent Activity

2019-02-26 05:51:00 -0500 answered a question How do I handle the restrictions with the size limitations?

Personally, I would just put your size requirements in big bold letters at the top of your profile info and if people don't read it then the only thing you can do is archive requests after you explain about not taking small dogs. If you're getting a ton of requests you need to archive maybe switch up the reason every once in a while to something like "owner changed plans" or such, but I don't think it affects things that much if you are accepting people and posting pictures and communicating well through the system.

2019-02-19 00:32:24 -0500 answered a question What if the client wants me to use their car while they are gone ?

I wouldn't do this under any circumstance. You're for sure not covered if something happens to their car, and there's a huge chance they would blame you for things you didn't do (dirty car, low gas, scratches, smell). I would thank them for their generosity but say that it's your policy to not use clients things while you are caring for their pets.

2019-02-19 00:29:18 -0500 answered a question Charging per night or per dog?

I would definitely charge per dog, but my rate decreases significantly for the dogs after the first one. This is because more dogs equals more time, energy, and often supplies. It's completely up to you on how you want to do it, maybe get more info from the owner on the care required for each one but it's a pretty safe bet that everyone is charging per dog although the rates change depending on the caregiver.

2019-02-19 00:25:58 -0500 answered a question why does my dog run and hide when I get the leash out?

I would start having her drag around a light 4 foot leash while you're home, so that when it's time to go outside you can easily grab the leash and bring her out without giving her a chance to run. She needs to break the habit and learn that going outside with you is the best option and the most fun, always make it a positive experience with toys or treats and after a week or so of this she should be easier to leash up.

Do NOT leave the leash on while you are out of the house, this would be a safety hazard. When you come home I would casually call her into an enclosed area using treats (no leash in view) like a bathroom and then go grab the leash and attach it when she has no where to run and hide.

2018-11-28 18:46:03 -0500 received badge  Great Answer (source)
2018-11-28 15:51:42 -0500 received badge  Nice Answer (source)
2018-11-23 18:28:52 -0500 answered a question Do you offer a discount for frequent clients?

Personally I don't, but I understand why some people do. I've decided that I don't want the headache of trying to keep track of who is paying what and making sure they continue to meet my stipulations to receive the discounted rate.

2018-11-18 01:49:46 -0500 received badge  Great Answer (source)
2018-11-15 22:56:46 -0500 received badge  Good Answer (source)
2018-11-13 17:01:31 -0500 answered a question What would you do?

Rover typically handles overnights as a 24 hour period, so when she requests dates I would simply reply back something along these lines "Hi client, I received your request and am excited to care for fido again. To summarize care for fido will start on such and such a date at 7am and ends on such and such a date at 7am. All overnight stays are for a 24 hour period, if any additional hours are needed after that I also offer a daycare rate of $$ that would be from pick your hours, but keep in mind those will always be the hours this client will expect".

As Walt mentioned I would recommend calling the client and having a conversation, but only AFTER you've decided exactly what your hours will be, how much will be owed, and then you're simply giving information for her to accept or reject. I'd highly recommend against letting your client choose when you leave and at what rate they'll pay for it. It also helps to have all of your decisions in writing first, in case the client flips out and tries to get rover involved.

Honestly, you may lose this client. Or you may not. But trust me you don't want to keep a client who thinks you have nothing better to do than spend your life at their house when it's not needed. And if you're going to be there almost around the clock, you need to be compensated for that.

2018-11-10 19:59:59 -0500 received badge  Nice Answer (source)
2018-11-10 17:44:28 -0500 answered a question How do you compete with sitters cheaper than you?

I have found that the biggest thing that will draw the higher paying customers is a very well written profile that focus' on your specialties, has good pictures of you and your pets/home, and a variety of reviews spread out over a large period of time. This is my full time job and I don't even try to compete with the people charging ridiculously low rates, my professionalism and experience speaks for itself and I've not had any problem losing clients to those people charging much lower rates.

2018-11-10 17:39:17 -0500 answered a question how much to charge for a bath?

When I've had clients ask for this I check the pricing in 3 groomers close to their home, then add about $10-15 depending on how large and furry the dog is. By coming to their home and bathing the dog you're offering a service above and beyond what groomers do, so you should be compensated for it.

2018-11-06 02:58:50 -0500 answered a question Does anyone give their clients a Christmas gift?

I typically give a gift for the dog as buying for the people always stresses me out and gets expensive. Usually it's a few small toys and treats with a card. It's always appreciated!

2018-06-09 12:16:57 -0500 received badge  Good Answer (source)
2018-02-11 21:32:43 -0500 marked best answer When do you all start the clock for walks?

I've always worked it that if an owner hires me for a 30 minute walk then I "start the clock" as I'm walking out the door with the dog. But recently I've gotten to thinking that for some clients it takes a while to get out the door because their dogs are difficult to work with or the owners are unorganized with where the dog's stuff is and that's time I'm not getting paid for, so I'm curious how you all do things. Do you count your entire time there or only the time you are physically walking the dog?

2018-01-29 18:26:36 -0500 received badge  Nice Answer (source)
2017-09-30 13:20:23 -0500 commented answer Should I be concerned if owner has not answered any of my questions but one?

If someone doesn't pick up their dogs I'd definitely contact rover immediately, and depending on the situation I may even consider it an emergency. Basically you pay a percentage of what you earn so that rover is backing you, don't be afraid to use them!

2017-09-28 12:32:35 -0500 answered a question Ever Had a Bad Feeling?

First, congrats on taking the step to do this full time! It's hard at first, but worth it!

Now, as much as we all hate to turn away business and there's always that "threat" that turning people down will affect our ratings. It's always better to lean towards safety for yourself and your pet(s). I have had people where my gut is saying something's wrong, sometimes I'm right and sometimes I'm not, but I always take measures to keep myself safe. A family member always knows when I'm going to a meet and greet and where it is, and if they can't get in touch with me 45 minutes after I tell them to call the cops immediately. That's never happened, but if I ever need it I like knowing backup is coming quickly. I don't care for pets in my home unless they've been clients for a while so I can be a little more flexible dealing with "weird" meet and greets, because it's in their home. But if this is in your home, I'd for sure say just tell him you're not available, archive him, and move on. He sounds very unstable and I wouldn't want that type of person knowing where I live. If you do go through with it, I'd suggest having a male friend or family member there as well and don't be afraid to just tell him it won't work out if you continue to get weird feelings from him and/or his dog. Sounds like this guy needs help, if he truly is locking his dogs in a car all day every day I'm guessing they're stressed and probably won't be easy to care for. And that's not even mentioning how illegal that is! And unsafe for his dogs!

2017-09-28 12:25:08 -0500 answered a question Should I be concerned if owner has not answered any of my questions but one?

If you've reached out multiple times and haven't been able to get a response, and especially because you've not been able to get a meet and greet scheduled I would immediately cancel the booking. I would also reach out to Rover support and inform them of the situation, so if she shows up on your doorstep you have them backing you up when you refuse to accept the dogs. My main concern would be that this person likely won't pick up the dogs on time (or ever, hate to say it), or if there's an emergency you won't be able to get a hold of them because they don't really care.

For future reference, don't accept a booking until you've had the meet and greet, you'd be amazed how much crazy can show up during a meet and greet and this way you're not obligated to watch the dogs. If someone is too lazy/busy/doesn't think it's important to schedule a meet and greet I can guarantee you don't want their dogs or business. The meet and greet isn't just a formality, it's essential! It allows you to really see the animals in your home, lets you talk in depth to the owner, get all the details ironed out, and above all lets you see if you shouldn't watch the dogs for any reason.

I know you said this is your first booking, but don't put yourself in a bad situation just because you'd hate to reject it. I've noticed since rover merged with dog vacay I've gotten way more crazier owners, and I've had to reject quite a few. If someone isn't responsive within 24 hours of my first contact I archive them and move on. It doesn't appear to have affected my ratings at all, and I'm still getting requests. At the end of the day, you need to watch out for yourself and your home.

2017-09-01 11:11:06 -0500 received badge  Guru (source)
2017-08-28 22:34:57 -0500 answered a question Has anyone come into contact with owners that want you to Stay the night while they are home?

I've had an owner offer for me to stay the night when they weren't getting home until super late (almost the next morning), but even then I declined as I think that's awkward.

Personally, I would offer to come early in the morning, but you can do whatever feels comfortable to you. Don't be worried about denying requests that aren't a good fit, although rover typically sends us good people there are a few weirdos and weird situations out there that should be avoided.

2017-08-27 22:25:58 -0500 received badge  Great Answer (source)
2017-08-24 23:20:54 -0500 received badge  Good Answer (source)
2017-08-24 16:04:40 -0500 received badge  Nice Answer (source)
2017-08-24 13:26:43 -0500 answered a question Do you go on dog walking/dog check up runs with other dogs while you are boarding/house sitting a dog? Assuming the owner is okay with you being away for short periods of time?

I'm always upfront with my clients that I will take excellent care of their pets, but they MUST be ok being home alone for up to 6 hours at a time. This gives me flexibility to do my regular walking clients, run errands, go home to do laundry, and basically still have a life.

I have had a few people who wanted me to stay with their dog around the clock, and my answer is always a polite no. If you are staying all day and all night with one client then they need to pay a premium to cover what you're losing from not being able to take other jobs, and I've yet to find someone able and willing to pay that price. And honestly, those owners tend to be extremely high maintenance and I've learned I just prefer to lose that one client and not have the stress associated with it.

2017-08-24 13:20:04 -0500 answered a question What is your cancellation policy?

Up until now my cancellation policy has basically been they get a full refund no matter what, mainly because I market myself to the single professionals and often they have no power over their schedules changing last minute.

All that to say though, I'm considering tightening the reins on this as I've lost out on a lot of work lately to people last minute canceling. It's gotten to the point where people are abusing this and I'm suffering because of it. I think it's necessary when starting out to be flexible like that, but once you get a good client base and people want you for the same time frames it's necessary for your clients to understand that if they cancel on you last minute you have lost out on money you would have otherwise made.

2017-08-21 23:33:57 -0500 received badge  Nice Answer (source)
2017-08-01 08:45:31 -0500 received badge  Nice Answer (source)
2017-07-24 17:39:43 -0500 received badge  Nice Answer (source)
2017-07-24 15:48:52 -0500 received badge  Editor (source)
2017-07-24 15:48:10 -0500 answered a question Would you take in a small aggressive dog again?

I personally would, but that is because I actually advertise for the market of people who have very difficult dogs, and I have the experience to deal with such a situation.

If you are uncomfortable with it, and especially if you have multiple clients dogs at your home at one time then I would be honest with the owner. A simple message that says "thank you so much for trusting me to care for "dogs name" while you were away, unfortunately it turns out that in my home she was much more aggressive than we both first thought and due to the safety of my dog and other clients dogs who are in my home every day I will not be able to care for "dogs name" again in the future, I wish you the best in finding someone who is a better fit for your pups specific needs"

2017-07-21 20:31:29 -0500 received badge  Good Answer (source)
2017-07-20 11:45:25 -0500 received badge  Nice Answer (source)
2017-07-20 00:42:06 -0500 commented answer Would you purchase a replacement harness?

Deb, I only down vote people when their comments are dangerous or insanely stupid. When I down voted your comment it stated that dogs should always wear their collars, and that is just plain dangerous in a crate situation.

2017-07-19 16:10:31 -0500 answered a question Would you purchase a replacement harness?

Personally, I would head to the store and buy a new one. And then tell the owner what happened and that you have replaced it. This is the cost of doing business and keeping a client happy.

ALSO, I'm sorry for being firm but it needs to be said, NEVER EVER EVER EVER leave a dog of any age in a crate with any collar, leash, or harness on! NEVER!!!!! I've actually experienced a previous training client whose dog hanged himself because they left his collar on. Especially with puppies who do a lot of jumping, twisting and overall busy activity they should never have anything on their bodies when in a crate. The collar and tags should go right back on as soon as you let the puppy out of the crate, but please start taking them off while dogs in your care are in their crates.

2017-07-19 16:05:40 -0500 answered a question What should I expect after summer is over?

I may be the odd one out here, but I actually saw a decrease in requests over the summer and had a fantastic winter season. Granted, I do a lot of dog walking so I think it worked to my advantage that it rained a lot and owners just didn't want to do it themselves.

I would recommend expanding your services, try to include mid-day walks as you'd be shocked how much money can be made doing that. Depending on your area you can charge $15-30 for a half hour walk and if you can book a couple hours a day that's decent money! Also, printing up business cards and passing them out to local dog areas could help boost your client base. At the end of the day, if you do your job well people will come to you and you'll get word of mouth exposure which is always the best. Good luck!

2017-07-19 16:02:24 -0500 answered a question What do you do when your house-sitting client's house is dirty/smelly?

Unfortunately yes, I've had one client whose house was like this. Thankfully she had left it up to me if I wanted to spend the night or just drop in morning and evening (dogs had a dog door and could go potty anytime they wanted) so thankfully I didn't have to spend the night. Unfortunately this meant I spent my profits in gas commuting. Although same issue as you, sitting on the couch to spend time with the dogs was pure torture and the house smelled so bad. I did a meet and greet and it was much cleaner than a few weeks later when I was doing the care.

My recommendations, have a dedicated large blanket that you bring to your house sitting gigs. This way if you encounter a nasty couch you can cover it and wash it as desired. I've also learned the hard way to ALWAYS charge for a cat!!! ALWAYS!!!!! I've never had a situation where I didn't need to scoop a litterbox or clean up cat puke, people assume cats are the easiest pet for a pet sitter but I've not found that to be true at all. They're also the ones typically waking me up all hours of the night with their shenanigans.

First, don't comment on them cleaning their house. All this will result in is an angry client and a potentially harmful review. People have different tolerance levels for cleanliness of their homes and there's not much we can do about that. What you CAN do is just not care for their pets again, what I did with my client was told her the next time she asked that I could only do drop in visits and charged accordingly which increased the rate. She found someone else and I was more than happy to not have her as a client.

2017-07-16 08:49:27 -0500 received badge  Enlightened (source)
2017-07-12 12:40:45 -0500 received badge  Nice Answer (source)
2017-07-11 17:14:19 -0500 received badge  Good Answer (source)
2017-07-09 13:51:10 -0500 received badge  Nice Answer (source)
2017-07-09 09:30:43 -0500 received badge  Nice Answer (source)
2017-07-08 15:31:15 -0500 answered a question How do I show the dog owner I wanna spend time with their dog, when all the dog wants to do is sleep?

A lot of dogs are like this, don't take it personally! For dogs like that I typically pull out some cheese or hotdog pieces (assuming they're allowed human food) and entice them to interact with me using with that. If that doesn't work, sometimes a high pitched squeeky toy helps to get them looking interested. I take a lot of pictures of lazy dogs during a walk, as often it's the only time they are moving and doing something interesting.

2017-07-07 11:49:14 -0500 answered a question Do most of you ask the dog owner to provide poop bags or do you typically provide those?

For my dog walking clients I always have poop bags in my car that I can easily clip onto my belt loop if they don't provide them, but honestly most of my clients have their own bags clipped on the leash already and I will use theirs. If it looks like theirs is low or they haven't purchased refills I'll go ahead and use mine, I get them cheap on amazon so honestly it's not a huge cost to me to use my own.