7 Tips – How To Prepare For a New Dog Walker or Pet Sitter
Are you inviting a new dog walker or sitter into your home for the first time? Understandably, it can be an anxiety inducing situation for both the pet owner and the walker/sitter as well. You deserve to have the peace of mind that your walker or sitter knows exactly what to do when they arrive to your pup. So here are 7 Tips for preparing yourself and your home for a new dog walker or puppy sitter!
As a bonus, we've included a FREE DOWNLOAD of our checklist at the bottom.
1) Schedule a Meet and Greet If Possible. There's no better way for you and your pup to get acquainted with your dog walker/sitter than a meet and greet. It also gives your walker/sitter a better understanding of your home and dog so that they are more comfortable on day one.
2) Make it Easy. Place Your Dog's Leash, harness, and other necessary items in easy to find areas, or include their location in your instructions. Having to search through closets for leashes, dog treats, or even your dog takes up extra time and can distract your walker or sitter from focusing on what really matters...your pup!
3) Ensure They Can Access Your Home. there are many ways to do this. If you live in a home or an apartment with direct access you can give your walker/sitter a spare key, leave a key in a lockbox, or give them the door code. If you live in a high-rise, like many of our clients in Atlanta, Georgia, then your dog walker will most likely need to grab the key from the leasing office or concierge. In that case, make sure to give written notice to your leasing office that you will have a dog walker/sitter.
4) Make Your Expectations Clear. If you get anxiety about the level of care your pup receives, make your wants and needs known to your walker. If you're afraid that your dog might be too high maintenance and don't want to scare your walker or sitter away, think about this: If the walker or sitter cannot meet your dog's needs, then they are not the right person to be caring for your dog. There are many dog walking and sitting companies, so make sure the one you choose is up for any challenge your dog might present. In fact, giving clear expectations makes caring for your pet much easier.
5) Have Your Questions Ready. Dogs are man and woman's best friend, so it's understandable if you're a little nervous about leaving Fido under someone else's care. Thus, it's okay to have questions! Maybe you want to know how many walks they give during a sitting, which route they will walk your dog every day, will they walk your dog with another dog, or how many dogs they care for in their home if it's a dog boarding on Rover. We also recommend asking about their prior experience, as you want to make sure they are truly right for your dog.
6) Leave Detailed Instructions. Most dog walking or pet sitting companies have mobile apps in which you can leave detailed information about your pup and home. Make sure to leave info about parking, getting the key, accessing your home, where your dog will be, any allergies they have, and any important information to know about your dog's behavior.
7) Have an Emergency Plan. Even though most pet owners don't have an emergency plan, it's important that your walker or dog sitter does. If they don't have one, develop one with them. Let them know who to contact, and which vet hospital to take you dog to. Also leave them with a secondary contact, in case they cannot reach you by phone or text.