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Things Are Going To Change! Pet Sitter’s Life

For the past three weeks, things have been crazy!  Of course we aren’t complaining, we are thankful for the business.  Summer vacations started at the end of May and we jumped full force into June.

Our days have been starting at 6 am, sometimes before if we have to,  and not finishing until 10-11 pm.  If we should happen to be scheduled for overnights, we just keep on going.

This type of schedule is standard for professional pet sitters.  We map out our visits by requested time and location in order to plan our day with the most efficient route.  Sometimes though, no matter how much we plan and prepare, things are going to change.

It’s a pet sitters life and things are going to change!

Things are going to change

 

Our sitters are accustomed to the every changing schedules but geesh these last few weeks have been hard to keep up with. We know to look at our schedules several times a day to be sure nothing is missed and here is why.

  • Work schedules changed for summer so two of our daily Mon – Friday clients no longer needed walks starting in June.
  • Another client who normally uses us two days per week wanted to switch to one day a week. We were able to accomodate but one week into June the client wanted to switch to a different day. Unfortunatley our daily schedule for the day requested was already filled for those time slots so the client decided on a different day.
  • Pet visits scheduled for 14 days in June were cancelled because of a family member was hospitalized.
  • Two seperate clients requested extra visits be added to their weekly schedule
  • A booking over Memorial weekend cancelled because their plans changed.
  • New client scheduled less than 48 hours because their sitter backed out.
  • Client decided to stay home from work and didn’t need us.
  • Another client leaving later for work wanted us to visit later in the day than originally planned.
  • Daily client had plans after work could we add on another visit between 3-4.
  • Client requested 3 mid day visits for the week but less than 24 hour notice.
  • Client called on Thursday to book 3 visits a day starting Fri thru Monday for a last minute weekend trip.
  • Client scheduled visits for 7 days but decided to leave two days earlier than planned and needed hour long visits added for those extra days.

I am pretty sure there are a few I forgot to mention.  While handling a full schedule of pet visits, it’s really tough to keep up with so many changes  Luckily we have a great scheduling system in place. Our clients can schedule, cancel, or change visits online 24/7. It’s also an excellent way to keep track of the changes so nothing gets missed while we are out tending to pets.

It’s life, things are going to change.  We get it.  Sometimes the changes are unpredictable like in the case of a family member suddenly hospitalized.

There are times though,  the changes occur because of poor planning. If you failed to book your pet sitter until the day before you are going on a week long trip but planned your travel arrangements months before, don’t expect your pet sitter to jump thru hoops to get you on the schedule.

To book service, cancel, or change a request, please use our online scheduler.  We receive so many texts and calls each day while we are out pet sitting and are unable to schedule the requests until we are back in the office.  We do not want to miss your request and want to be sure we have all the information necessary.

When you need to schedule, cancel, or change pet service, do so with as much notice as possible.  The more notice you provide, the easier it is to accomodate your request.

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Pet Sitter’s Life: Easy Way To Make Money?

Being a pet sitter is very rewarding.  It can also be very challenging.  For someone who loves and adores pets it can be a great way to earn a living. Professional pet sitting and dog walking is more than a job or career, it really is a lifestyle.  A pet sitter’s life is far from easy.  It can be quite exhausting, stressful, and frustrating.  It can also be fun, relaxing, exciting, and so loving.

Professional pet sitting is not at all how most people perceive it.  When we tell people what we do for a living, almost every single person says “Oh I would love to do that”.  Who wouldn’t right?

After all, almost everyone has done some sort of pet sitting for a family member, friend, or a neighbor. How hard can taking care of pets be? We often hear how great it is that we get to play with puppies and kittens all day. Certainly that is one of the great parts of caring for pets but there is so much more.

When potential candidates apply for a pet sitting or dog walking position with us, they are often shocked by our requirements. They have no concept of what we do on a daily basis. After the interview process, most determine that this is not as easy or as flexible as they thought.

Here is a glimpse into a pet sitter’s life.

Pet sitter’s life, our week of 05/16.

Total visits:  116

Number of dogs visited: 28
Some dogs were visited once per day Monday thru Friday while others were visited 3 or more times per day while their owners were away.

Number of cats visited: 13
Cats were visited once or twice per day while their owners were away.

This week was one of the tougher ones, not so much because of the pets we cared for but events that occurred.

Our days started early visiting pets between 6 am -9 am.  Dogs needed out and fed first thing after a long night. Then on to the cat visits who requested visits 2 times per day.

Pet Sitter's Life: Easy Way To Make MoneyAfter our morning rounds ended, our daily dog walking schedule began.  Weekdays start with a 45 minute run/brisk walk with a super rambunctious pup. He will certainly destroy the house if not able to release his energy.

Usually all goes well during the day with maybe some clean ups here or there but this particular week had some challenges.

Our pet sitter arrived at one of her daily dog walks to the German Shepherd pup crying in pain.  She had Sadie (2)hurt her leg/paw earlier and could not put any weight on it.  The pet sitter immediately called the pups owner and the office to discuss actions to take.  Since the owner could not get home until early afternoon, the pet sitter stayed to comfort and relax the pup. She couldn’t bear to leave her hurting like that. The pup found great comfort with having someone there and fell asleep in her lap. The extra time staying made for a hectic afternoon but certainly worth it. Other dogs were waiting for their walks but our main priority is the safety and well being of the pet. Some times things happen that cause us to be delayed. Our clients are very understanding as they would want the same care for their pets. The pups owner was very grateful that the pet sitter was able to stay a little longer.

Never is it just one situation but often several different events happening on the same day or on our busiest day. Such was the case this week.

Encountering loose dogs while out walking our clients dogs is very frustrating and aggravating. While walking a Doberman and Boxer (no not mine) who get a bit excitable with other dogs, a Jack Russel got away from his owner. The man was walking his dog on a retractable leash and his dog got away from him slipping his collar. The little dog charged at our client’s dogs.  Luckily no one got hurt. The Boxer and Doberman behaved very well considering another dog was going at them.

Champ 2015Wearing barn boots saved the dog walkers foot from being seriously bitten. The Boxer kept nudging her the entire way back home to make sure his dog walker was ok. This is a scary situation and could have turned out very badly.

We are fortunate that we have been walking and caring for these two dogs for aSookie 2015
long time now.  We know them quite well.   A great deal of time and patience went into being able to get them out for daily walks.

Being professional pet sitters/dog walkers, we are always on the alert.  It is our job to pay attention to the dogs in our care as well as to foresee any events that might cause an incidence. These scenarios happen quickly with little time to react. Paying attention to surroundings and changes in the dog’s body language are key.  Our dog walkers are trained on how to avoid these situations and how to handle them if they occur.

The dogs walks finished up between 2-3 pm.  We then started afternoon kitty visits. It was a rainy week. Visiting cats when it’s raining is actually a nice break but not this time.  The pet sitter arrived at a visit of 3 cats and there were two wet spots, one outside the litter box and one by the laundry basin.  Those were cleaned up, however the next morning after a downpour thru the night, the basement had more than a couple wet spots.  The floor was soaked! Of course right by the litter boxes.  All that clay goop was all over.  What a mess! Have you ever had to clean up wet litter off the floor? Not an easy or pleasant task.  The extra time spent cleaning up put a slight delay in the schedule.  Things happen!

Despite the rain, dogs needed out and walked.  We all got soaked but there were no issues.  Lots of wet dog smell and drenched hair and fur but we have towels for that.

Bailey April 2016 (2)

Although we don’t encounter situations like this daily there are some days that can be quite draining. Full schedules, cleaning up accidents, loose dogs charging, crappy weather, working crazy hours 7 days per week are all part of being a pet sitter/dog walker.  You may wonder why we do this.  We do this because even when these things happen, the love of the pets far outweighs the challenges. The happy tails wagging and the kitty purring make it all worth it. Is it an easy way to make money, no.  Is it a rewarding way to make a living, yes.

Cooper 05-04-16 Daisy - May Oliver Ruger 05-03-16

 

 

 

 

 

Do you think pet sitting and dog walking is an easy way to make money?

 

 

 

 

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