If you have never owned a dog or cat, or even if you do, but have never taken care of another person’s pet, it can feel daunting. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to be aware of before you accept your first pet sitting job.
DO always have a Meet & Greet with the Pet Owner in person to do a full property tour to share joint legal responsibility that it is escape-proof and hazard-free with a Property checklist and that pets are compatible.
DO always sanitise and disinfect your hands or wounds after interacting with pets to prevent catching a zoonosis.
DO take time to ask the Pet Owner about the medical history and the behavioural history of the pet – ie. whether it is a rescue, or has a history of aggression, resource guarding, or escapism.
DO ask whether pets are microchipped, and ensure pets are wearing collars with ID tags and leashes before being dropped off. Also check if they are desexed, and vaccinated.
DO have $10M Public Liability insurance to cover big Vet Bills in the event of an unforeseen Pet Accident. If you join PetCloud as a Pet Sitter, PetCloud has a policy in place to cover bookings so you don’t have to pay for the cost of this.
DO have savlon antiseptic cream and fabric band aids on hand to disinfect pet wounds or hot spots before they get worse. Report it as early as possible to the Pet Owner and take a photo and ask if they would like you to take their pet to the Vet.
DO always ensure the Pet Owner pays up front via PetCloud before the booking begins. Do not start a booking or accept pets for drop off without payment being confirmed. They could have insufficient funds & it saves you from being ripped off.
DO call your nearest Emergency Vet as your first course of action if there is a medical emergency (and then report it to PetCloud).
DO always give daily photo updates & report changes in stool or behaviour to the Pet Owner
DO always keep Cats and Kittens securely locked indoors (with good air flow) 100% at all times & never allowed to roam outside – even if requested by the Pet Owner. A kitty litter tray must be provided indoors.
DO only ever walk a maximum of 3 dogs, and take on an appropriate size and temperament of dogs according to your strength
DO feed each dog at separate ends of the yard or house to avoid fights breaking out.
DO always pick up after guest dogs poop and never walk a female dog on heat. It’s illegal.
DO charge up your phone and ensure you are always contactable and responsive.
DO use your smartphone as your liability safeguard to film or photograph or make notes or get permission in writing.
DO realise your time is valuable, particularly to someone who has none, by not discounting your prices.
DO keep a diary. Being organised and reliable is key.
DO request the Owner provides their pet’s food and bedding to avoid stomach upsets and diarrhea.
DON’T spray poison insect spray (such as Mortein) around your home to get rid of insects or fleas. Only use a pet-friendly pesticide, because pets can absorb poison through their paws and die.
DON’T give guest pets extra treats or special foods against the owner’s instructions, even if you want to pamper them a little. The animal could have a strict diet or may be allergic or sensitive to food changes.
DON’T take pets anywhere that has not been discussed and approved with the Owner in writing.
DON’T ever accept bookings for cats while you are pregnant due to the risk of toxoplasmosis.
DON’T ever leave pets in the car, or tied up outside a shop. Pets can die in hot cars in minutes and can get stolen out the front of shops. Leave them at home if you have to visit the store.
DON’T ever let a dog off leash in a public area. It’s against the law. You must have control of a dog at all times.
DON’T ever take a dog to the dog park as they are a hotspot for fights breaking out and PetCloud’s insurance won’t cover it.
DON’T ever walk dogs in the heat of the day due to burnt paws and heatstroke.
DON’T ever accept cash, doing this voids your insurance cover making you liable to pay up to $16,000 in event of a Vet emergency bill and will lead to my listing being permanently banned.
DON’T give animals any kind of medication, or adjust their existing medication, without the prior written permission of the owner or instruction of a vet.
DON’T ever smack or yell at a pet. Use positive reinforcement through reward based training.