I have been a professional pet sitter for almost twenty years and during that time I think I’ve seen almost everything involving pet sitting. Thinking about what makes an assignment fun and what can make me dread going to a sit, I’ve come up with a list that reflects the best things my clients do that keep me coming back.
- A good client makes sure that the entry to the home is well lit. There is no debris around the steps or door that can be tripped over. If entering through the garage, there is a clear pathway to the house and no gymnastic skills are required to hurdle over obstacles in storage.
- Driveways are kept clear of leaves. A good client realizes that the sitter may not know which direction to go if the driveway is covered in leaves. No one wants their card ending up in the middle of the yard.
- The backyards of caring clients are well lit so that the sitter can see your pets at night and see any potential problems.
- Clients that we love book well in advance so that the sitter can plan their time accordingly. This is a true story; I once had a client call after he left on a trip to say he had forgotten my name but I was in his phone as the pet sitter. He said he would be out of town for several days, and left a payment on the kitchen counter. He never asked if I was available, just assumed I would be. He did not last long as client.
- A great client doesn’t ask me to cut corners on the care of their pets to save money. Cats need to be seen once a day, minimum. Just because they have never gotten sick before doesn’t mean it can’t happen tomorrow. Dogs need a minimum of two visits a day, preferably three. Pet sitters don’t mind cleaning up an accident, but when the accidents are consistent, that means the pet isn’t getting enough potty breaks.
- Ample food or other supplies such as cat litter are always left for the pets by caring clients.
- Another thing a good client does is understand that pet sitters have lives, too. Sometimes we have to go to the doctor, take care of a sick family member or, since we work seven days a week, make an appointment for a haircut at the same time Fluffy is used to getting a 3 p.m. snack. They realize the world doesn’t come to an end if Fluffy gets that snack a little later.
- Holidays are a stressful time for pet sitters. We are trying to care for many pets as well as spending special time with our own families. The best clients understand and are willing to shorten visits and change up their pets’ schedules a little to accommodate that.
- Good clients make sure that cleaning supplies, can openers, trash bags, etc. are always easy to find.
- We can tell when litter boxes aren’t scooped regularly. A really good client will not leave a week’s worth of dirty litter for the sitter to scoop on the first visit.
- Thoughtful clients make sure there is hot water for hand washing and pet dish cleaning. They will also provide a usable bathroom. They will not turn off the water to the house to save money.
- The very best, most awesome clients are the ones who love their pets as members of the family and try their best to provide loving care for them, even when they are away.
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