Pet Sitting: The One- Stop Guide for Pet-Sitters:: Part Two
21 Oct 2013
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Do read part one of this comprehensive guide before you read this!
So you’ve decided to go ahead and be a pet-sitter! Congratulations, you just scored 10 points towards good karma! So let’s get our basics straight, shall we?
Got that. I’m ready, now where do I find a pet?
You can ask friends that have pets to leave them with you when they go for a movie or a dinner. That’s a feasible start. Post to your Face book/Twitter etc, that you are looking to be a pet-sitter, someone is bound to know someone who needs a pet-sitter. A quick google search will also reveal that there are multiple forums for adoptions/foster care where people require foster parents and temporary homes for adorable, cute puppies and kittens. Seriously, that is a great place to start. You can also join pet-sitting communities that are popping up these days like pimples on a teenager’s face.
Cool. Found a pet, fixed a date. Now what?
If this is an animal you’ve never met before, it’s a great idea to visit the family/ have the family bring the pet over to your place at least once before the actual pet –sitting gig. This helps the pet feel comfortable with you and gives you a chance to make friends with him/her beforehand. Since most pets have splendid memory, when the real pet-sitting happens, they will be far more comfortable with you.
Excellent, did all that. The pet-sitting is happening tomorrow. Anything I need to keep in mind?
For house pet-sitters:
>Make sure you land up well before the parents leave. This ensures that the pet isn’t over excited
>Find out everything about the house (if you already haven’t) like where the electricity panel is, which neighbor to contact in case of emergency, how the door lock works, etc. This is very important as you are sitting their house as well as pet, and ensures the safety of both Snoopy and you.
>Figure out Fido’s stuff. Where his food is, how much to feed him, where his treats are, where does he sleep, when does he poop, how long a walk is enough, what his favourite toy is etc.
For Self Pet-Sitters:
>Ask the pet parents to give you all necessary things that belong to their pet: Water bowl, food bowl, food for the period of pet-sitting (always get food for a day extra), toys, bed, collar, leash, etc. Many pets have a security item, like a blanket, or a toy. Ensure the parents give that to you as well. This helps deal with separation anxiety
>Ensure in advance that your house is free of any strong smells, odors etc. Pets are sensisitve to smells and this can confuse them.
> If you live with other people, ensure that they all know you are bringing a pet home, and ensure they are all around for when the pet arrives.
>Take down important numbers: The vet, a family member or friend who is available while the parents are gone whom the pet is comfortable with, and of course contact numbers of the parents themselves.
> Inform pet-parents in advance about payment/non-payment etc.
>Check with the pet-parents if the pet has any special requirements ( medication, diet-issues)
> Ensure that the pet-parents know that any major damage caused by their pet (destruction due to separation anxiety) will have to be paid for. As a pet-sitter you can expect damage, but only the minor kind.
Awesome. Got numbers, took notes about Fluffy. It’s D-day today, what to do?!
Golden rule: No fear, no panic. Animals have a way of sensing these things. If you stay calm, things will go well. Other than that, stick to the pet’s routine and be firm in case the pet ends up being mischievous. No mistreating, ill-treating or use of any kind of violence. And don’t cage/tie the pet up unless absolutely necessary. Keep the parents updated, even if nothing is going wrong. Send photos if you can!
You’ve got all you need to be a pet-sitter. So get started now!
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