When meeting a new dog, it’s important to ask their owner a few things about their schedule, so that everyone is on the same page regarding the stay. Be sure to ask:
How often the dog needs to go potty.
How long the dog can be alone if you have other commitments (i.e. work or classes).
How much exercise the dog needs.
How much time the owner expects you to spend with their dog (for house sitting or drop ins).
Remember to check in on arrival and departure times, to be sure that you and the owner are on the same page.
By getting the lowdown about each dog’s usual routine, you can ensure that it fits into your own schedule.
Pet parents want you to care for their dog just like they do--and that means ensuring that all house rules are followed. During the Meet & Greet, be sure to ask:
What commands the dog knows.
If the dog is allowed on furniture.
If the dog is supposed to go in a crate or specific other place at night.
Also, ask the owner about their house rules for you (if house sitting), like:
Is there anywhere in the house you do not want me to go?
Do you have a guest policy?
By following the house rules, the dog will receive the same kind of guidance they get at home and the owner will be kept at ease.
Everyone’s goal during a stay is to keep the animals in their care as safe as possible. That means that you should be sure to ask the owner about their safety expectations before the stay begins. Some topics to cover include:
What gear is the dog walked in?
Are there any triggers that should be avoided?
Are there any neighborhood hazards I should be aware of?
Does the dog try to run out the front door?
Do you employ any safety measures at home (baby gates or barriers) to keep the dog out of certain areas?
Does the dog like to get into trash or purses?
Dog safety is the priority, and by asking the right questions at the Meet & Greet you can be completely prepared to look after your new furry friend.
It can be helpful to create your own list of expectations, and to bring a notepad to the Meet & Greet to jot down your thoughts as the owner tells you all about their family member. By getting everything out in the open before the stay begins, you’ll be setting yourself up for success every time.