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Over Protective Owners

I've had a few clients that are over protective with their dog/dogs.  By that meaning they check in with me 2-4 times a DAY!  I am all about the updates, photos and videos.  But what do you do when they beat you to the punch and are consistantly asking you how their dog is doing?  So far I have just continued to give the update when asked.  And even tried to beat them to the punch. Then get asked again a few hours later (unless something happened or changed) the updates are all the same.


How do you deal with over protective dog parents?  Is there another approch that I may be over looking?


Thank you!

6 Replies
Dog fanatic

Re: Over Protective Owners

Something that I’ve revently started doing is asking during the meet and greet is “how often would you like to receive updates on your pet?” Some parents are very nervous, and some get really annoyed with even 1-2 updates a day. Some want more in the beginning and less after they’re comfortable with you. It’s helped me to determine the level the parent expects up front. Hope that helps! 


Re: Over Protective Owners

We started giving our over protective parents 'times' that we will send pics/updates which seems to eliminate most of the extra calls/texts/email. 


Top dog

Re: Over Protective Owners

Currently, I don't have any occurences of this type. However, I did have a walking client who wanted multiple pictures and updates on every walk (when out of town that was 4 times a day). Most often, I'd just try to beat her to the punch with photo updates ad nauseam, even if they weren't my best pics: 

  • at least one when I arrived usually with a comment about what they were doing sleepy in bed, greeted at door with toy, etc.
  • another  one or more during walk maybe with a comment about walking speed or what was of interest to them,
  • and one or more taken inside home usually with a comment about appetite, food/treat consumption, or play before I left.

Re: Over Protective Owners

I usually ask like @VDeshambo mentioned and try to gauge it that way. I also add hints like “I don’t want to overdo the updates or annoy you”. I also give them examples of past clients and how they may relate to their needs. I make sure to keep an open line of communication to keep them at ease and I point that fact out to them. I’ve had some pretty over protective pet parents that calm down after I drown them in pics and updates, lol. I usually find that once I can get the pups to be comfortable and “look” comfortable on pics or videos the parents are relieved and less persistent about updates.

Re: Over Protective Owners

Great advice, give info more often to an anxious pet parent before they text. That way you also have a journal of their pet being in good hands. 

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Re: Over Protective Owners

When I have people act this way iItake it to mean that I need to build up my trust in the pet parents eyes. Start by asking many questions during the meet and greet I take a pad and pen as well as a questionnaire with me and I will ask their favorite playtime activities. This either bulds the trust between us or gives me the tools I need to build trust during the stay. I will also gauge their expectations for updates. Then I make sure any updates come with pictures or videos because seeing your dog play fetch will always put you more at ease then reading you played fetch, I will also include at least one picture of dinner time. If they are checking in multiple times per day I will start sending pictures in real time go for a walk send a pic, play tug of war send a pic, take a nap pic, meet a new friend pic. You get the idea. But it let's them know my dog is being taken care of without you having to send "your dog is doing great" 4 times per day. (This is where knowing their favorite toy or activities comes in handy.) Then you can start backing off on the updates and send the pictures once per day with a small update. Don't know if it's true for everyone but from my experience facts work better than emotion i.e. instead of "your dog is happy" better to say "your dog ate all of his breakfast". The best thing you can say to them is to describe a quark they know their dog has, if you say "when I walk in the room Nala curls up into a "u" shape and starts sneezing I would know not only does my dog love you but you are paying attention to her. I'm going to have a much easier time on my vacation and not going to be thinking I wonder if that dog sitter is actually playing with Nala.

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