A popular job for young teenagers these days is dog sitting, but for those youngsters out there who’ve never done it before, it might come as a bit of a shock and more of a responsibility than they thought it would be. Dog sitting is not hard (depending on the dog’s behavior) to do and is typically a great place to start in terms of a first job. However, there are a few key elements to learn before you head out and start posting your flyers everywhere. Below are the most useful dog sitting tips.
Top Dog Sitting Tips:
#1 – Ask a Lot of Questions
When you arrive, and before you even start, ask as many questions about the dog as you can. What is the dog’s name, age, breed, and are they up to date on their vaccinations? Be sure to ask if the dog has any food allergies or medical issues (if the answer is yes, be sure to get the information on how to treat the dog if something unordinary ought to happen while the owners are away). What is the pup’s daily schedule look like? At what times do you need to feed the dog and let them outside to use the bathroom? Does the dog have boundaries (are they not allowed on the furniture, in the bedroom, etc.)? The last thing you want to remember to ask is if there is any additional information that you should be aware of.
The easiest way to get a dog to trust you is by breaking the ice with a small treat. Keep a small pouch with you (they should be quite small, about the size of your pinky finger nail) to share with the pup when you approve of their behavior towards you. If the dog tends to be a little bit on the shy side, sit down with the owners until the dog is comfortable to approach you on their own, and then hand them a treat. By doing this you are showing the hound that they can trust you, and they will. Be sure to give the treats out in a timely manner, if the dog does a trick or stays where they are supposed to be, and you wait 5 minutes to treat them, you could be awarding something different that may or may not be correct behavior.
3 – Research Body Language
Here is a little bit of research homework for you to accomplish before your first meeting with the pup and its’ owners. Find websites that provide information about canine body language, and by doing this you will have more knowledge and awareness of when the dog is feeling fearful, timid, exhausted, etc. Of course there will be some occurrences where you’ll know what the dog is feeling right away, for instance if the dog is whining by the door, chances are they need to relieve themselves. Other emotions can be easily hidden, a good example of this is growling. Have you ever started to pet a dog you don’t know very well, and then all of the sudden they start growling at you? Some dogs may growl to say that they are enjoying what you are doing, others’ will growl to make you stop. It’s for these reasons that researching a little bit and asking a lot of questions about the dog you are looking after is extremely important.
Prepare for Anything
If you’ve ever owned a dog, you know that it isn’t always smooth sailing when it comes to taking care of them. Dogs make a lot of messes, and as a sitter, it is your job to stay on top of those accidents and take care of them so that the owners don’t have to. What happens when a dog gets riled up and knocks over that fancy glass vase that the owner paid a fortune for? You clean up the glass and be honest about the mistake when the owners return. Will it always be easy? No, of course not. But, that is your responsibility and is what’s expected of you.