Dog sitting in owner's home
While some dogs are fine boarding with other dogs in a kennel, staying for a while with another family or spending time in a dog daycare, some just aren’t or can’t. This can be the case for territorial dogs, dogs with medical conditions or dogs in heat or pregnant. Luckily, there is a pet sitting solution when this happens: dog sitting in the owner’s home. Let’s find out how it works.
What is dog sitting in the owner’s home?
Dog sitting in the owner’s home is when a pet sitter comes to look after your dog in your own home. This can be for a couple of hours or for a night or more. The person is responsible for your dog’s safety and well-being during the whole duration of the service and is expected to perform tasks such as walking your dog, cleaning up dog waste, feeding your dog, providing fun activities and giving medicines if required.
If your dog has a condition or has a strong temper, it is best to choose someone with experience or qualifications. Not every dog lover knows how to administer medicines or to handle big, boisterous dogs. In case you are comfortable letting a stranger into your home, you might want to consider dog sitting with a host family.
How do I book a dog sitting in the owner's home service?
There are different ways to find someone to come take care of your dog in your own home. If no one in your close circle can help, you can ask your local pet shop, shelter or vet office for recommandations. Vet nurses and volunteers often offer pet sitting services. This is a great way to find someone who is not only a genuine dog lover but also has experience and training.
Alternatively, you can turn to a company specialising in pet sitting. With the rise of pet sitting, there are plenty of online companies that offer to connect dog parents with dog sitters. The trick here is to use a reputable company that has a large network in your area. You should also take the time to create a detailed profile and to read the reviews left by other dog owners. Don’t forget to also check the price for dog sitting and the qualifications of your potential dog sitter. With Holidog, the number onedog sitting company in the UK, they are publicly visible on each pet sitter´s profile.
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How to prepare for dog sitting at home?
Before you leave your home and the dog sitting adventure starts, you should take several precautions. Below, we will outline the most important ones.
It is of vital importance that you do not change your habits as the time of your departure nears. This could cause anxiety in him which will make it harder for your dog to adapt to his new temporary environment and could even lead to separation anxiety when you are back. Act as you normally do.
Do not become overly emotional when you leave the apartment and don't try to compensate: it will only make things harder for your dog. You can, however, try to relieve his stress in a variety of ways. For example, there are pheromone dispensers that you can install in your home. Also, don't hesitate to leave a piece of clothing with your scent on it so that your dog can sniff it and calm down.
If your pet is under too much stress, consider asking your veterinarian for advice. There are medications that can help reduce your pet's anxiety - but they should be taken with caution. Also, never use human medication to soothe your four-legged friend!
Prepare in advance
Provide enough dog food! If the dog sitter has to buy more, you should know that you ill have to reimburse him for this. The same applies to a veterinary consultation, on the condition, of course, if he can show you a bill.
Talk about your dog
Another very important point for a successful dog sitting experience: remember to describe your dogs behaviour and character to the sitter, especially if he doesn't know your dog. Knowing a dog well allows the dog sitter to serenely deal with certain situations that could otherwise prove complicated. Is your dog shy? Does he show dominance over his fellow men? Does he tend to run away? Also specify the time and duration of the walks. You can even describe the route you usually take.
Food should also not be overlooked when preparing the dog sitting adventure for your furry pal. Make a precise note of the amount of food he eats. Make sure you explain any type of dietary restrictions clearly, especially if your dog has allergies.
Medical conditions and medication
Don't forget to mention if your dog is sick. Describe the treatment, methods of administration, and dosage. For more safety, note each step in detail on a sheet and give it to the host family that will do the dog sitting when you drop your buddy off. Also describe the symptoms of the disease and explain the signs that could indicate that things are taking a turn for the worse so that the pet sitter can act as quickly as possible. Leave your veterinarian's number, as well as an emergency contact number.
Ask for updates
There's nothing like receiving photos or videos of your furry friend´s dog sitting experience on a regular basis to make sure everything is going well. Ask the dog sitter for regular updates. This will allow you to enjoy your holiday without worrying too much about your four-legged friend!
Visit your vet on your return
Even if everything went well, a quick visit to your vet can help you check if your dog has been injured without the pet sitter noticing. You can also take the opportunity to check his weight. Indeed, some animals tend to lose weight when they are stressed. Others, on the other hand, gain a few kilograms from being overly pampered by their pet sitter. Besides, its great to hear your vet say that your dog is just as healthy and happy as he was before his dog sitting experience.
Want to learn more? Than please have a look at our dog sitting guide for more in-depth articles.