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longgone's avatar

Will you help me brainstorm for a pet sitting "fact sheet"?

Asked by longgone (17105points) November 11th, 2014

I do a little dog sitting from time to time, mostly while the owners are out of town. I’d like to draft a form for owners to fill out beforehand, including specific instructions for me, but also stating general points of how I will be caring for their dogs.

I’m thinking there should be boxes to check on whether a certain dog is allowed off-leash, how long he may be left home alone, whether he is okay with children…that type of thing.

What else should I be including, in your opinion? What would you want to tell a potential sitter about your own pet?

No worries, I always know the dogs well before they come to stay with me. I will not be needing this form as a cheat sheet at all. Rather, I want to be sure that whatever I agree on with the owner is well documented. I like most of my clients, but I’ve have some bad experiences, too.

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9 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

That’s an excellent idea. Pets are pets but people can be real asses. Treats, meds, grooming expectations, okay with other animals, vaccinations, allergies, sensitivities, etc came to mind right off.

jaytkay's avatar

Their veterinarian’s phone number.

Also, the friends I sit for tell the vet beforehand that they will cover any bills incurred while they are away.

tinyfaery's avatar

Stress relievers like a special toy.
If they are allowed people food.

janbb's avatar

How often and how they relieve themselves. Need to be walked to go? Special place in the yard? We-wee pads?

What things trigger fear or aggression in them?

bossob's avatar

Critical care preferences: learn how the customer wants their pet taken care of in case of emergencies.
Your vet, their vet, or an animal emergency clinic?
How much are they willing to spend, without notice, on the vet’s recommendations?
Do they have a secondary person (like a local family member or friend in town) who can authorize extra funds for the pet’s care in case the owner can’t be reached?
If the pet should die, how do they want the body handled? Your freezer, the vet’s freezer, or cremation?

It’s not talked about much, but people die in hotels, and pets die while being sitted and in boarding kennels. Be prepared. Some pet owners resist talking about the remote possibility of a sick or dead pet when they return home, but in the long run they’ll appreciate your concern to do right by them, and the professionalism you display by being prepared for all contingencies.

majorrich's avatar

I don’t have dogs, but have observed friends dogs that are really flaky about being handled in certain ways. Like they don’t like being petted on the head, or my cousin’s dog Taco (a chihuahua) goes completely mental if you touch his tail, like when you are petting him and stroke too far and get to his tail. He’s mental and we all know it.

Coloma's avatar

Right, medications and any allergies to foods, how often they get a “treat”, special toys or comfort items etc. as well as a list of emergency contacts, family members, veterinarian.
Do you know anything about farm animals or exotics too?
Maybe include a handout/checklist for these specialty animals if you have these sorts of opportunities around your area. Caring for fish, parrots, other exotic birds, Ferrets, etc.

What about horses and other livestock?
If you pet sit here you will need to care for chickens, geese and ducks, horses and donkeys along with the cats and dog. Big bonus if you can blanket the horses at night and take them off in the mornings and if you have experience in herding geese and ducks to bed. lol

majorrich's avatar

In heat or no?

longgone's avatar

Thank you, everyone. This has been very helpful. I created a lovely three-page document, and I’ve already had the first owner sign it. Feeling much more professional! ;)

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