By Beth Buster, Owner
Paws Pet Care Pet Sitting & Dog Walking

What sets you apart from just “the girl next door” or that college student that wants to make an extra buck pet sitting for the summer?  What gives you the right to call yourself a PROFESSIONAL? Being a professional pet sitter comes with a considerable amount of responsibility and accountability. Here’s a checklist of behaviors that professional pet sitters avoid:

  • Don’t eat or drink client’s food. Only consume specified snacks/drinks that have been discussed the homeowner.
  • Don’t deviate from the client’s exact instructions regarding the care of their pet unless you have spoken with them prior.
    ● Don’t invite any visitors to the home unless it has been agreed to beforehand.
    ● Don’t leave pets in a kennel or crate unless pet owner requests this.
    ● Don’t take pets anywhere that has not been discussed and approved with the homeowner.
    ● Don’t take children, boyfriends, spouses or friends on pet-sitting appointments. Your insurance will not cover their injuries or accidental damage.
    ● Don’t give animals any kind of medication, even an aspirin, without the permission of the owner or instruction of a vet.
    ● Don’t accept just a garage door opener or door code in lieu of a key. If the power goes out, you will not be able to enter the home.
    ● Don’t leave the collected mail in a place that can be seen from a window. This is a clear indication that the owners are not home.
    ● Don’t use the client’s swimming pool, exercise equipment, phone, computer, or electronics unless you have their permission.
    ● Don’t give the animals 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 force a dog to run/walk in very hot, humid weather or freezing conditions. If there is a weather advisory, we do not walk dogs….instead substitute a potty break and indoor playtime.
    ● Don’t leave out any sources of food, even if the client says that the animal will not get into the food bag. Many animals will gorge themselves to death on a food supply. Also make sure any human food is put out of reach.
    ● Don’t let strangers pet the animals in your care while walking or exercising them. If the animal is hurt, or hurts the stranger, you are liable.
    ● Don’t let a pet out of the cage unless the owner has indicated it is OK. If you do let it out, make sure you know how to catch it and return it to its cage – and where it tends to hide if it doesn’t want to be caught!

Do you have more items to add to this list?  Share them with us below!