House sitting with dogs and other pets can have a different set of responsibilities than house
sitting alone. There is a life to care for and many people treat their pets like family. It will be
your responsibility to look after and provide them with the best care possible.
Meet with the Owners
Pick a neutral area (such as a beach or dog-friendly cafe) to arrange a meeting with the
owners and their pets. This is a great way for both parties to decide if they are a good fit, as
not all pets get along with temporary carers. Having this time can allow a pet to get used to
you and treat you as a new addition to the family.
Get to Know the Pets Daily Routine
Pet owners will have prepared a daily routine that must be followed. Review the routine and
ask questions about anything that you’re unsure about. Dogs will usually have different diets
and exercise schedules based on what their owners prefer and are not usually that
responsive to changes. Ask if you can do a test run and look after the pet’s needs for a day.
Be Sure of Your Responsibilities
Providing care for a pet is more than following a routine, you need to be aware of any issues
that may arise while the pet is under your care. There is a possibility that the pet may
become sick or injured and this will become something you need to deal with. The owner will
provide a list of contacts in case of emergency.
Commit to the Time Needed
Pets have different activity levels based on what they are used to and often their breed.
Some pets like to lay around and others enjoy long walks. Not all pets are the same and
often breaks to their activity levels can result in bad behaviour due to boredom or raised
Often when their owners are away pets may become more affectionate and will seek comfort from you. It is best to provide them with what they need even if it is beyond what the owner may have suggested. Plan special events and if the dog has been socialised try to arrange some puppy play dates!
Being a pet auntie/uncle is one of the best things you can do. You get all the fun and often not much of the discipline. Be the best pet relative you can and have fun with your limited time with them. Dogs have long memories and will remember you for many years. There’s something special about meeting up with a dog that you had a great time with a few years ago.
Take Plenty of Photos
Pet parents love seeing what their pets are doing. Take lots of photos, especially if you go somewhere special such as a new beach or dog park. You can regularly send these to the parents so they can see that their pets are having an awesome time while they are on holiday.