If you’re a dog lover who has been asked to look after a friend’s pooch then that’s awesome, right?! I mean, what dog lover doesn’t love the opportunity to spend time with an adorable little doggo?
However, if it’s your first time dog sitting, it’s important to go through a few things to ensure that you don’t get any grief from your mate if something happens that’s not actually your fault.
This, and a couple of other health and safety tips to practise, are important for looking after a dog that’s not yours because you don’t want anything to happen to the little cutie under your watch!
And, hey, it’s great if your mate already has the best pet insurance, but this doesn’t mean you can laze around like it’s just a walk in the park – be sure to take on these five tips if you are dog sitting for the very first time:
- Check out theirs or your property before sitting
Regardless of whether you are sitting at your home or your mate’s whilst they are away, it’s important to conduct a thorough property evaluation to ensure the home is escape and hazard-proof when the dog comes around.
This may sound far-fetched, but problems can arise between mates if the owner’s dog happens to escape or fall victim to a hazard even if they are being sat at their own home, so go through either house with the owner to ensure you are both aware of any hazards that need fixing before you start sitting.
- Ask your mate about the dog’s health & behavioural history
You may have already spent a fair bit of time with your mate’s dog, running around the park and cuddling on the couch, but that doesn’t mean they have. Told you everything about their behavioural and medical history.
Everyone’s dog is susceptible to health problems, the occasional naughty outburst and even the odd Steve McQueen Great Escape attempt, so it’s important to be aware of the dog’s medical history and the way they could behave when you are looking after them.
- Call your emergency vet if there is a problem
Gosh, we are probably putting you off the whole idea of dog sitting, aren’t we? But hey, for people who don’t own dogs it can be easy to forget or hard to know where your nearest emergency vet is located.
So, before you begin looking after the doggo, be sure to take note of where your nearest emergency vet is in case there is an, errr, emergency!
- Provide the owner with updates
You’re probably having a great time with your mate’s dog and maybe by now even considering dog-napping them – but this isn’t allowed! Instead, if your mate requests regular health and happiness updates about their dog then take the daily two minutes to do it – it will save your friend freaking out and put you in the good books for if they ever ask you to sit again!
- Ask your mate to buy the food
After all, you’re doing them a favour – the least they can do is provide the dog’s food for the few days, week, month etc. that they are away. Whilst it’s great that you are looking after their pet and probably having a great time doing it, it’s not fair that you should have to foot the bill when they are up in the Whitsundays, lazing around Whitehaven Beach with a cocktail in hand, is it?
So ensure that they can supply the doggo’s food up front or at least transfer you the coin when you need to run out to the shops for them!