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In your home sitting

For those who dog sit in their own home. Do you have any advice/suggestions in how to get started? 

9 Replies

Re: In your home sitting

I have hosted a number of dogs. I’ve been doing this a while. Up to 3 at a time. First a meet and greet a must. That doesn’t guarantee anything. Most of the dogs have high anxiety when coming to a new home.  I live on the park with a dog run. Expect it to take about 24 hours for the dogs to settle down. The habits the owners suggest never seem to be accurate in the first 24 hours. An owner will have a difficult time expressing the dog has any aggression issues. A create for small dogs suggests for young small dogs. If you want to discuss further let me know. 

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Dog fanatic

Re: In your home sitting

Starting with 1 dog at a time would be best in my opinion. 

You never know for sure how a dog will react when they board. They may be completely calm and all in their own home but you are new surroundings so it may take a day or so for them to settle in. Be prepared to spend time at home with them the first day/night to help ease them into the stay. 



Re: In your home sitting

Good advice by Hope. Start with one dog.  During the meet and greet ask the dog parents to leave you one on one with the dog during the visit and see the reaction when they are not around. One of my first sits, as the owners drove away, one of their dogs became an escape artist and the other could jump 6 feet over the fence. They didn't do this when the owners were there. The owners never mentioned the dogs had severe seperation anxiety. Have a list ready of questions to ask. Such as, has your dog ever been boarded before, if so, where, when. 


Re: In your home sitting

It depends, will dog sitting be your only job or will you have to work around another work schedule? It also helps if you have friends & family with dogs that can supplement your bookings until you get a regular following.



Re: In your home sitting

Hi Kendra!

Depends on your sitter experience. This is your first time being a dog sitter? do you have experience owning dogs? this is a side job? or are you doing this full time? 

A lot of people think is easy being a dog sitter, but it needs a lot of compromise, love, patience and a assertive animal communication.  I love the idea of starting with 1 dog!!  you can focus on one guest and feel what kind of things do you like for future guests. (sizes, breeds, age, etc).

Always ask for a meet and greet!  is a must.  There are some cases that even with a meet and greet do not guarantee the dog is not going to try to destroy your house.  

It's a good idea start with dog sizes that you feel comfortable and start looking for enzymatic cleaners, lol

When I started, I checked my property for places where dogs can easily escape and fixed it (I have a 3acre property), also, I dog proofed the house (I got baby gates )


Dog fanatic

Re: In your home sitting

Hey, first we require a meet and greet so the new dog can meet our crew. We have 3 dogs we introduce at a meet and greet one at a time. We start with the oldest our 13-year-old lab and then go from there. We do the one at a time so we do not overwhelm the new pup. If everything works out and we get the reservation to watch the new dog, we only take one new dog at a time. We have a great repeat business so we always have dogs in the house besides ours. We have child gates to block off certain rooms. Feeding times, we separate the dogs and when everyone is finished we pick up the bowls and then let them back together to play or lounge. Even if the dog is a good fit the owner may not be. If the owner shows signs of anxiety or over protection, you may want to decline that client. 

Good luck getting started and if you need Rover has always been very responsive to our emails...


Re: In your home sitting

  I have been doing this for three years :-) when I first started I thought this will be fun will earn some extra money have fun with some dogs.  The learning curve was definitely quite large always be prepared for a lot of work it’s fun and rewarding most of the time :-) make sure your backyard is secure plus :-) baby gates are absolutely necessary you don’t want  dogs wondering where you can’t keep a close eye on them. And if you’re sitting large dogs get large Gates the small Gates Will be jumped over in a heartbeat large gate.  Make sure you have dog toys something for them to chew one and love on… And destroyed even it’s better than your stuff. I make my own dog mats  that can’t be washed extremely often so be prepared for lots of extra laundry if you plan on allowing dogs on your couch make sure you have covers on your couch actual couch covers are the best, sheets only work OK.  And bring your patience! 

Dog fanatic

Re: In your home sitting

For boarding in your home, also keep in mind that certain cities and counties require specific licenses (business, kennel, etc.) and have a limit on the number of animals you can house at any given time. Since you run your own business and are independent contractors, not employees of Rover, you need to make sure you're following all laws, regulations, and HOA/rental rules. Hope that helps!

Re: In your home sitting

Great suggestions from. everyone.

After checking with your city ordinance requirements and all is good:

1. Dog proof your home with type of flooring is tile;

2. Know the  size and weight you will take and state that in your profile;

3. Always do a Meet & Greet;

4. Prepare a detailed questionaire for the owner: Owner name, cell phone, emergency contact-family/friend who will pick up dog if owner can't;

5. Vet Clinic Name, Address & Phone, Vet Name;

6. Dog Name, Breed, Vaccinations record, Microchipped, Any health issues, allergies, feeding instructions, etc.

7. What owner needs to bring and what you have (I have bowls);

8. First time visit bring a article of clothing with owner's scent for calming dog;

I also give the customer a sheet detailing my pet care process & proceedures: Pick up/drop times, walks, I give eye drops & oral meds but Not injections, etc.

Hope this gives you some ideas.  And do start with 1 dog at a time.  Dogs will act different that when at home with owner.  But, you need to know as much about the dog's routine at home as possible.


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