Love being around dogs and cats for some extra companionship in exchange for smiles, extra cuddles, and tail wags? Pet parents across UAE are always in need of help with their pets when they can’t spend as much time with them as they would like or when they are off travelling.
However, if you have never had a dog or cat of your own, or even if you do, but have never taken care of another person’s pet, it can be a daunting experience. Here are a few essential pointers to be aware of before you start off with your first pet sitting.
First up is make sure you have done several meets up beforehand.
Secondly, if you are a clean freak and have accepted to home-board a pup at yours, do know that some dogs may mark or have an accident at your home. It’s not common but it can happen. So, make sure to discuss this with the pet parent beforehand, as you may need them to chip to clean your sofa or rug. Cat’s are a little less difficult to handle in this sense and would be happy with a cat litter box. Just make sure it is easily accessible.
Here are a few things you should ask the pet parent:
- What is the dog’s or cat’s behavior, the likes, and dislikes? How is the pet when left alone?
- What are the feeding habits? What kind of foods does he/she eats? Any resource guarding behavior? Will the pet parent provide the food? Any allergies?
- Does the dog or cat have their favorite bed or toys? If they do, it would be good for the pet parent to bring it along to reduce separation anxiety or any form of distress and give it some sense of familiarity.
- Any health issues you need to know? Vaccination records?
- Are they friendly to other dogs or cats, strangers, or children?
- What cues (commands) the dog understands and if the pet parent can demonstrate it. It’s always good to be able to communicate with the dog.
These answers would help reduce a lot of guesswork and assist in managing the furry one so you focus on enjoying the companionship.
Other things to keep in mind:
- Be prepared to spend time with the furry ones, dogs need walks to exercise or pee and poo. It is also important to understand that for the first day or two, the dog may appear anxious and bark or long for the company when left alone as it adjusts to its new surroundings. Cats may also need time to adjust to the new surroundings if they will be staying with you.
- Dogs may not be friendly towards other dogs or small animals so it’s always advisable to have a meet and greet between your dog and the other person’s if you have one. Or understand if the dog is reactive so you can be prepared when you are out and about. Ask the pet parent if they have any management plan in place?
- Always be careful no matter how friendly the dog is, don’t take it for granted. Learn from the pet parent or go through our blogs to understand basic dog behavior.
- Also, do check if the dog is neutered/spayed or if it is currently in heat: This is a very important safety precaution to take.
- Always keep the dog (or cat) on a leash when taking it out for a walk or at an area that is not securely enclosed as it may run away, get in fights with other pets, get bitten, or get hit by moving vehicles. Ask the pet parent if you can take the dog to a dog park. Never assume that every dog likes going to a dog park or are comfortable in a social setting.
Remember to Add paw prints of happiness to your life and you can learn more about being a pet buddy by visiting the link below