So I thought I would put the question out there on how you approach a dog owner about their dog destroying something you own. In this case I came home today to find one of my pet beds had been destroyed and torn apart, I consulted my cameras and saw which dog did the destroying.
How best would you approach telling the pet parent and do you outright ask for compensation or wait for them to offer it. Also should I just send the video clip or would that be overkill and just sending pictures is fine?
While the bed is only $30 to replace that is still a whole night of sitting this dog that is wasted from his destructive behaviour.
Also, how do you proceed with a destructive dog going forward? Ask the owner if should crate the dog? Remove all items worried about being destroyed (i.e. anything but toys and very large furniture)?
Unfortunately as sitters it makes it very difficult whether or not to tell the owner that their dog destroyed something of yours.
In my experience, I have told an owner that their dog ate our tv remote. Although they did reinburse. They weren't happy and I never saw them again. On one hand, I don't have to worry about that specific dog booking again and possibly destroying something else. But I also lost a client. I am always willing to work with a dog that has behavior issues.
If you bring it to the owners attention, let them know what happened. Ask if this is something their dog has done at home? Is there anything to help prevent it? Maybe wording it the right way, they might offer to reinburse. I wouldn't ask out right for payment.
If you put the shoe on the other foot, let's say I pick up my dog from my sitter. I am told at the door that my dog destroyed something. At that point I would feel horrible and (personally) I would want to pay for damages. But, if the sitter gave me a bill for what was destroyed as soon as walked to their door, I think I would feel bad, but upset that I'm picking up my dog and learning I owe more money.
It is indeed a touchy situation.
I agree with MiniFarm. As sitters, we are or should be responsible for the error in judgment. If you must leave, make sure to separate dogs, put away anything that can/would be destroyed and provide a toy/kong or something to keep them entertained. Also, putting on the tv or soft music helps. You need to determin if you want to take the dog again. I have told owners after a stay that their pup wasn't a good fit...for the dog. Usually due to the dog getting stressed and going after my dog. Kept separate from other dogs, the dog was great. I do explain why, say something positive about the pup and refer those owners to rover match with the contact phone number. Don't take it personally if a dog turns out not to be a good fit, it's part of doing business. Remember, expenses and anything you purchase for your business is deductable at tax time. Good Luck.
I actually had this happen just recently with one of my regulars at the beginning of each stay when the pup is being dropped off is there anything new I should know about? I was told no no everything’s good. Well early one morning I got up because someone had to go potty and instead of going back to bed I laid on the couch and took a nap. The next thing I knew I was waking up to crunching wasn’t 2 feet away from my ear… This dog had went onto my table grabbed my remote and started chewing it by my head… I hadn’t seen this dog in a couple months. Well in that time he started destroying stuff at home not stop that was left out stuff is put away like a search and destroy mission. Needless to say I told the owners about it. Oh I’m so sorry etc. etc. was the response I got I also got yeah he’s been tearing stuff up at home as well… Personally I think that something new. When they picked him up they did give me money to replace the remote. Most times if a dog destroy something my clients will replace it or pay for it. I do not ask them to however because unless it’s something that’s a known issue I should be watching them. However I do expect if they are known to tear up furniture or walls etc. that they tell me so I can be aware of the situation and either not leave them alone or make sure they’re confined and where they cannot do any damage.
I wouldn't ask the client to remiburse me. I see it as a part of doing business. I would just buy a new bed and save the receipt to use as an expense on my income taxes at the end of the year. A few weeks ago one of my boarding dogs tore up her own bed that the owner brought for her to use during her stay with me. I purchased a new bed and sent it home with her. I put the receipt in my tax folder to write off at the end of the year.
I kennel everyone when I'm not at home. I always ask clients to bring a bed or blanket for the kennel so the dog has something from home to cuddle when I'm not there.
As a trainer, I like to share this with my clients.
As sitters it is our reseponsibility to supervise the dogs. Once when I was using a neighbor for daycare for my then toddler daughter, I arrived to pick her up in the afternoon to find out my daughter had poured bleach on her carpet. She wanted me to pay for the carpet until I asked her what she was doing when my daughter was able to get her hands on bleach. She's lucky all she did was pour the bleach out instead of drinking it. I feel the same about watching dogs in my home.
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