Being trusted with someone’s beloved pet and home is an honor.
Be the keeper that gets invited back!
If this is your first time watching their space or pet there are things you will need to ask.
If I’m watching a pet I ask the human to please type or write me out a schedule that includes times of the pet’s daily routine. How much to feed the pet, do they have any medical conditions or medications. The contact information for their vet. Emergency humans to contact too if I need help. If the animals are allowed treats. Words the person uses. Where the food is kept. Where equipment needed is. When my dog was still alive I would type out his schedule including things like please avoid other dogs and people. If you have challenges with what the needs of an animal are then let the owner know to see if there is a workaround. if you for some reason can’t do the takes tell the owners so the owners can ask someone else.
Sometimes I ask them things in person.
I like to go over early to spend time with the pet while the human is there. Try to put on equipment like a harness. If they have special equipment, learn how to use them and when. Like fish or reptile tanks.
If you are minding their house things to know.
- When is garbage day including instructions like where to leave the cans.
- Where does the recycling/ food scraps go? What goes in the bins?
- How to use the appliances (house watching, I found out by curiosity they had an ice maker) so I then made some lovely blueberry frozen yogurt. The dog I was watching got a taste because all the ingredients were safe for this dog’s diet. Made up for the late dinner the first night. Human moments!
- If the home you are minding has any allergies.
- What you are allowed to eat.
- Find out if you are to collect the mail, where they want it.
- Rules if they are in a community or strata.
- If you are hoping to have guests. Ask if the owners mind. Being respectful in people’s spaces helps to have you invited back.
- Always clean up after yourself and the pets.
- If you are caring for their yard or garden. Know the water rules.
- Find out their emergency safety plans, where safety equipment is kept. Like the fire extinguisher and Emergency grab kits!
- Unless asked, don’t move or tidy things. Some people really feel lost when they come home after being away, and things have changed. If you know them well or have an open means of communication(such as texting) then you might be able to do things for them
- Know the address and phone number of the house you are watching.
People’s homes and pets are safe to them. Unless you ask, do not take photos of their space or pets.
If you take a photo of anything personal without asking. Keep it private. In the fast electronic age it can be very easy to just post without thinking, remember this is a borrowed time in someone else’s space.
Don’t post about the pets on the Internet without asking..
Final touches, strip the bed the day they are coming home, wash it for them. If you know them well enough to make a meal or leave a treat. Check with them if that works for them.
Enjoy the space and maybe if they feel good about you keeping their space, you might be invited back.
May you have a great week! If you have had a good house or pet sitter please share what you enjoyed about their skills. If you have enjoyed watching a house or a pet, what were the highlights!