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What Does Dog Proofing Really Mean?

Community Manager
Community Manager
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As a pet sitter, you probably hear a lot about dog proofing. Beyond keeping the door closed and tasty treats out of reach, what does dog proofing really mean? And, as a pet sitter, what are you responsible for? We’re here to walk you through how to dog proof your house—and even your client’s house.

How to Dog Proof Your Client’s Home

We know it’s a bit trickier to dog proof a home you don’t live in, but don’t worry—there are a few simple things you can do to prevent any mishaps. We recommend doing a walk-through when you first arrive and:

  • Make sure the food (and food scraps) are out of reach. Push food to the back of the counter (or totally off the counter). If the kitchen trash can is under the sink, make sure the cabinet’s closed at all times. If it’s in the open, make sure you take any tasty-smelling garbage to the curb as soon as you can.
  • Protect against window escapes. Some dogs will try and get outside if motivated enough, even if a screen’s in the way. Close the windows if you can before you leave. If you need to leave them open, make sure your Rover dog can’t wiggle through the opening.
  • Put away food and medication. Many owners will leave the dog’s food and medication out on the counter for your easy access. We suggest putting it back in a cabinet so it’s out of the dog’s reach.
  • Walk the perimeter of the yard. If the owner has a fenced yard, check for holes, even behind furniture/firewood stacked along the fence. If you’re unsure if the yard is fully secure, keep your Rover dog on a leash the whole time they’re outside. Of course, stay outside with them the whole time, no matter what—it’s the best way to keep them safe.

How to Dog Proof Your Home

Dog proofing your house once will impress your clients and keep your Rover dogs safe—it’s a win-win. Pro tip: Once you dog proof, mention it on your Rover profile to really stand out.

  • Keep all medications and cleaning products out of reach. We recommend putting them in cabinets so a dog doesn’t mistake them for treats.
  • Keep food off the counter. We know that cabinet space can be limited, but it’s best to just put all food away when you have Rover guests—even that container of gummy vitamins.
  • Get trash cans with lids that latch. It’s a game-changer, we promise.
  • Use baby gates or exercise pens to keep dogs in bounds. Block rooms with items you don’t want the dog interacting with, like your caged pets or that Italian leather chair.
  • Add extra protection around doorways. Consider setting up an exercise pen around frequently used doors to the outside so the dog can’t slip out of the door.
  • Don’t keep an open doggie door. We know, doggie doors are convenient, but it means it’s tough to keep an eye on your Rover dogs.
  • Check your own fence. Make sure your fence has no holes or furniture/firewood stacked up against the fence—it’s easier than you think for dogs to get around piles of wood.
  • Keep purses and bags off the floor. Dogs think if something’s on the floor, it’s open for business. Make sure to keep your credit cards, gym clothes, and other belongings out of reach.
  • Keep your kids’ toys out of reach. If you’ve ever thought dog toys and kids’ toys are similar, imagine how it looks to a dog. We recommend packing them away in a cabinet or a room a dog can’t get to.

Whether you’re watching dogs in your home or your client’s, we’re here to help you understand how to keep the home safe for dogs in your care. Much of dog proofing comes down to putting food, toys, and small objects out of reach, and doing a walk-through before a dog comes over (or after you get there) will help ensure that the stay passes with nothing more eventful than an extended snuggle session.

Author: Kathryn Lisko