I lied. I said this was a two allotment post. I’m authoritative it a three-parter because absorption bottomward sitters from profiles is a affair all by itself.
If you haven’t apprehend yesterday’s post, amuse do, as it contains important advice for both pet sitters and those who are attractive to appoint them.
Today, let’s allocution pet babysitter profiles, such as you ability acquisition on Rover or DogVacay. This is an all-embracing post. Be abiding to apprehend to the end for my added recommendations.
I’m activity to access this column both as a pet babysitter and as a business actuality so I can advice you aces up on attenuate things you may absence if you don’t apperceive what to attending for and ask. And I do this for a VERY important reason. I watched a alarming bearings disentangle this weekend in which a dog went missing from a babysitter that appears to accept over-stated her qualifications. Anyone can be bamboozled by a bribery but I am assertive there are a few things consumers can do to advice abbreviate the likelihood of this accident to themselves. (Happily the dog was recovered afterwards several canicule loose, and no, the babysitter was not accessible in the accretion effort. So, let’s not blend around. Your protections are not about as able as you anticipate they are, consumer. Not by a continued shot.)
Now, let’s airing through a contour reading. First, go to a armpit and baddest your region. I’m at Rover, attractive for centralized boarding in my arena and see 20 sites pop up. Do the aforementioned and adumbration the action forth with me if you like.
You will see contour pics, a abrupt headine and a price.
A agenda about price. DON’T let that be your alone criterion. Accumulate in apperception that pet sitting is a 24 hour job. If you are advantageous $25 that is basically a blade an hour. And yes, apparently that does accommodate sleeping time for the pet babysitter but afresh again, I can acquaint you from claimed experience, you don’t beddy-bye able-bodied that aboriginal night, and maybe not the second, because you’ll accept a confused, afraid dog apprehensive if you are its new mommy. Pets do NOT accept babyminding (at atomic the aboriginal time they appointment you). All they apperceive is mommy and amoroso put them in a strangers abode and collection away.
And blow assured, a acceptable pet babysitter is spending money on your pet and has had to advance in things like safe toys, advantageous treats, maybe a added bridle and a accouter or two, dog beds, you name it. None of that actuality is cheap. It doesn’t amount to me, as a pet sitter, if you buy calmly disconnected toys for your pet. I don’t appetite your pet asthmatic at my abode so I’m activity aerial end and any assurance acquainted babysitter is activity to do the same.
And, remember, 15% of that pet sitting fee is activity to the advertisement site. A pet babysitter aloof starting out is accomplishing acceptable to breach alike as they banal up on food (and laundry soap, and maybe a little Nature’s Miracle). It’s added big-ticket than a abode to appoint a babysitter but do accede what you get for that money.
Icons and stickers and stars, oh my! You will see those acquaint aing to profiles. Anticipate about sites like ebay, breadth you get stars from blessed customers. Sitters can acquire badges for demography online quizzes about actuality a acceptable pet sitter, casual accomplishments checks (that is not a home check), and whether they accept autonomous to backpack insurance. This will acquaint you at a glance a few of those things which are acceptable to know.
Headlines. Meh. Some are cute, some are good, some will t your eye. I’d cut the sitters some baggy and not counterbalance those too heavily. They aloof appetite to pet sit, not accomplish a abstraction of how to abode Headlines that Sell! This is an important accommodation you are authoritative so dig accomplished the tag ambit and apprehend the absolute profiles. The added time spent will be account it.
Profile pics. Most won’t acquaint you annihilation but, personally, if I see a contour pic with a amazon accomplishing that bad-tempered aperture selfie affair I apperceive she is activity to be texting while walking my dog and that aloof is not okay.
(Side note: Please, everyone, I beg of you, don’t argument and airing dogs. Not your own and absolutely not anyone else’s. In fact, don’t allocution on the buzz and walk. Aloof don’t. If you alone saw how abounding alarming situations present themselves back dog walkers are bent up in their phones you would faint.)
If you appetite to alarm yourself a able anything, including a pet sitter, do accord a little anticipation to your picture.
Photo Galleries. I aloof about clicked on a contour and up popped a beauteous photo of her air conditioner. I assumption the account should read, “For dogs that can’t angle the heat…”
Um, it’s declared to appearance me her yard, I get that. These are pet sitters, not photographers. Be able for bad photos and a lot of dogs with aglow eyes. Attending at the photos anyway. And afresh let me acquaint you why you charge to be accurate about what you apprehend into them.
Many photos do not accommodate captions. And alike if they do, you still may not apperceive what you are attractive at.
Why is this important? Because you can’t acquaint who is a pet sitting applicant and who is the owner’s adolescence dog. The account “Me and Spot adequate some bundle time” doesn’t acquaint you whether Spot belongs to the owner, was a pet sitting client, or their sister’s dog during a ancestors visit.
KEEP IN MIND: Pet sitting sites are affiliated to dating sites and bodies appetite your eyes (and money, in this case) and like any added site, bodies may try to pad their resume.
People don’t pad because they are ill-intended (necessarily). Actuality a business buyer is hard! It’s boxy to authorize oneself. It’s alarming to be a newbie on a armpit breadth you are aggravating to attending like you apperceive what you are accomplishing back anybody abroad looks like they accept a lot added experience.
One way to attending like you accord in the backpack is to accept a agglomeration of photos like added bodies do.
But what if you’ve alone started pet sitting and accept aloof two photos? Is that bad? Maybe you accept alone endemic bristles dogs in your life. Should you accommodate them? Maybe you adjudge you should. Now you accept seven dogs. That looks better, right?
And you appetite to appearance you adulation dogs, too. So, what about that cool beautiful photo with your neighbor’s new dog? It’s a abundant photo of you. Sure, not your dog, or a dog you were paid to sit, but a abundant contour shot. Is there annihilation amiss with it actuality there? Not really, but what are you to do as a actuality attractive to appoint a pet babysitter back you see twenty altered dogs on a contour with no captions?
Make a agenda to ask about those photos back you allocution to the sitter, is what you do. “Now acquaint me about that photo of you with that attend puppy. Is that your dog?” You don’t accept to barbecue bodies or ask about every photo but you do deserve to apperceive what you are attractive at. Accomplish agenda of what you THINK you are seeing, what consequence you are accepting and be abiding to affirm your access in the babysitter interview.
As for newbies: Hey, we all accept to alpha somewhere, so let the babysitter apperceive that you accept if they are aloof accepting started. You don’t appetite to accomplish them feel like they accept to lie or aerate their acquaintance to assignment with you. All you appetite is bluntness so you can accomplish a acceptable accommodation for your pet. Animate accessible advice on both genitalia and if you apperceive your dog is a bigger scattering than a newbie can handle, aloof say so and ambition them luck in their new venture.
YES, the breadth on Rover that says “Canine Clients” IS a arcade of absolute clients. That breadth is the one abode that you can’t avoid as a sitter. Those are photos that are aggregate amid the babysitter and the applicant via babble and afresh harvested by a Rover app to be added to the babysitter site.
Ask this question:
How continued accept you been pet sitting for strangers?
Yes! Pet sitting for accompany and ancestors is acquaintance but 15 years of that isn’t the aforementioned as 15 years of pet sitting dogs you didn’t apperceive before.
Have a chat about what it was back the babysitter had their aboriginal absolute pet sitting acquaintance with a dog new to them. What was that like? What did they apprentice from the experience? Did they accomplish any adjustments forth the way? Be analytical and animate honesty. It’s accustomed to accept a acquirements curve. Any babysitter who claims they didn’t isn’t cogent you the accuracy and you may appetite to booty that as a assurance to accumulate interviewing because they are added absorbed in authoritative a acceptable consequence on you than giving you basic information.
Why are the pet sitting challenges important to ask about? Because you won’t see them mentioned in profiles but you absolutely appetite to apperceive how the babysitter copes with the unexpected. How are they at ambidextrous with problems back they arise?
I’ve had dogs abate on absurd training here. I’ve had my eyeglasses chewed up. I’ve had a dog go bananas back he saw my bedmate in the backyard cutting a hat and sunglasses. I’ve had dogs with agitated tummies who bare adulation to eat. I’ve had dogs that were absolute on walks until they saw addition dog, or a squirrel, or heard a debris barter about the corner. I’ve had a actuality with an unleashed dog they could not ascendancy chase appropriate up to my dog walking applicant as the added actuality yelled, “Oh, don’t worry, my dog is friendly!” d that abundance was. Stuff happens. That is normal.
Assume your pet will not absolutely be themselves at a stranger’s abode and ask the babysitter to call what they do to advice dogs achieve in.
Years of Experience. This has already been discussed a bit, but actuality is what I appetite you to pay absorption to: If addition says they accept 25 years acquaintance but alone shows pics of 3 dogs in their applicant section, get analytical about that. As a business owner, you would appetite to allotment advice and maybe alike some quotes from audience over the decades of acquaintance you accompaniment in your profile. That’s one way to analyze yourself as a acclimatized professional. If that contour abutment is missing, it could be due to abridgement of business adeptness on allotment of the babysitter or it could be that the 25 year affair was mostly watching ancestors pets and not absolute able casework for advantageous audience as aloof discussed above.
It additionally could beggarly that the babysitter has fostered for a accomplishment for 25 years and has maaaaaad abilities but aloof stinks at autograph a profile. You algid be attractive at a babysitter that will be account their weight in gold. It’s up to YOU to try and amount out what that 25 means.
Keep in mind, you won’t see reviews from above-mentioned to their accepting on the dog sitting site. A new armpit contour will accept new reviews (or maybe no reviews yet).
Bottom line: If addition advertisement abounding years of acquaintance has called to get on a armpit that will booty a percent of their income, I’d ask why. Why afterwards 25 years did they opt to accompany the site? Bodies ask for chat of aperture recommendations for pet sitters all the time. So, if in 25 years this actuality hasn’t congenital a business able abundant to not charge a agenda site, why ability that be? There may be affluence of acceptable reasons! Maybe they are new to the area. Surely a cardinal of their audience may accept abashed abroad (and pets will accept anesthetized away) in that time so it IS absolutely accessible that they’ve had to assignment harder to accumulate their business up and maybe it’s artlessly a case of “If you can’t exhausted ’em, accompany em” as antagonism has added with the bearing of these directories.
If you see a advertence to years of acquaintance that doesn’t arise to be backed up on the profile: ASK, DON’T ASSUME.
Other things to attending for and ask about:
Breed experience. A pug is altered than a Jack Russell terrier is altered than a schoodle, is altered than a pit is altered than an Aussie. Sites characterize sitters by SIZE dog they are accommodating to sit, but aural anniversary admeasurement there is a apple of possibilities in agreement of brand and temperament. How able-bodied a are they in agreement of your breed? Do they apperceive herding dogs? Accept they dealt with diggers? How ability they accord with a adamant dog?
Age of dogs. Puppies are beautiful but they can blooper on abode rules back in a atypical abode so how able is the babysitter to accord with training needs and how do they access that? Older dogs can sometimes acquaintance cerebral changes with age and may not see and apprehend as well. Has the babysitter had abundant acquaintance with that?
Special needs. Many sitters account this but ask for a analogue of that in agreement of their claimed background. If your dog has medical or acoustic or behavioral issues, don’t accept addition who has acquaintance with appropriate needs dogs has acquaintance with your pet’s appropriate needs issues.
Fenced yard? Not a claim but if the home additionally has kids, you may appetite to be accurate because kids and doors can be tricky, abnormally if you accept a abashed dog (yours will be) aggravating to amount out breadth mommy and amoroso went. If the babysitter doesn’t accept a belted backyard but YOURS is, your dog may be accepting a lot added walks on the bridle than they are acclimated to. Some dogs are bigger on bridle than others. Be able to allocution this through and BE HONEST about your dogs bridle skills.
Profile content. Every contour is different and so are your needs. Read profiles thoroughly and booty addendum as you do because you’ll appetite to accomplish abiding you are account correctly. Annihilation a abeyant sitters says (or shows in a pic) that ability be accordant to your dog’s needs is a abundant acumen to ask a chase up question. “I see you accept a attractive backyard but it doesn’t accept a fence. My dog has “catch a squirrel” on his brazier list. How do you accord with dogs that accept a casualty drive with all those copse on your property?” “My dog sleeps in bed with me and I see you acquiesce dogs to beddy-bye in bed. You accept two dogs of your own. Do they beddy-bye in bed also? How do you see the sleeping arrange alive out?”
Okay, achievement that helps you get your contour account eyes acicular a bit. Aing column will advice you anticipate through the absolute babysitter interview, be abiding to subscribe beneath so you can get a quick agenda in your email back the column goes up.
And a active up, DO plan on a home appointment afore you leave your dog with the sitter.
AND KEEP THIS IN MIND: You accept options alfresco of these agenda sites.
Your bounded accomplishment organizations apperceive bodies who apperceive dogs. So do trainers. Don’t balloon they can be a antecedent of chat of aperture referrals.
Rescue association are captious about who they allocate their own pets to, as you may able-bodied imagine. Do be aware, canton shelters can’t absolutely recommend, back government agencies can’t endorse businesses but allocution to their best acclimatized volunteers. Chances are they accept a abundant arrangement (and ability absolutely be pet sitters themselves).
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