To many, “fur babies” is a term used by owners of dogs or cats. Many families with or without children will ensure their pets are well taken care of and this also includes seeking professionals who will care for them when they are not able to. Many hotels offer special accommodations for pets and offer pet bedding, bowls and menus for their four-legged guests. Often, hotel policy does not allow a guest to leave their dog or cat unattended in a room and pet sitting services are being requested. It’s always best to have experience and a comfort level with animals when taking these types of jobs as it will be very evident if you have neither.
If you have a love for animals and can handle picking up poop, having your sweater and jeans decorated in animal fur and dealing with drool then this is your gig! Caring for fur babies can be just as much fun and rewarding as caring for children, not to mention it can also be as challenging and unpredictable as child care. It is best to come prepared with questions: “Does your dog have any special needs, such as medication?”, “do you use pee pads or are you okay if I take him/her out for a walk?”, “how is he/she will the general public and other animals?”, “do you have poop bags?”, “what time and what food shall I put out? how many treats do you typically allow?”, “do they have any favourite toys?”, “do you permit him/her on the bed?”. Asking a flurry of questions will help you understand the animal’s schedule and personality and will allow the owner to feel confident and comfortable with your care.
Like children, it’s best to use your instincts to determine the animals comfort level with you; are they happily greeting you or growling at you from afar. Take into consideration their body language; are the ears back, fur on end and body lowered? Approach each animal with respect to how they are reacting to you, some take a little time to get warmed up to strangers and others are all over you from the get-go.
Giving feedback to the owner(s) is also crucial, they will want to be aware how their pet did while in your care. In the end, caring for pets is very similar to children; patience, skill and playfulness required!
Written by Susan – Fur Mama to Ella