How To Communicate With Pet Parents: Dog Walker Tips

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Working as a pet caregiver is a cutthroat business, whether you're providing a sitting, boarding, drop-in, or walking service. One of the best jobs is taking care of pets all day, but pet sitters also have to deal with a lot of problems.

Communicating with pet owners is one of the most challenging aspects of pet sitting. Many pet owners think of their pets as members of the family, so you'll need to give it your all to make them happy.

Building trust with pet parents is crucial to the growth of your business, because pets can't communicate with them. Here are some suggestions for interacting with dog owners at doggie daycare, kennel owners, and everyone in between.

Please keep in mind that the suggestions provided here are merely suggestions and not actual business advice.

First-meeting tips for new clients

The first time you meet a client, you have the unique opportunity to prove that you are the best person to take care of their pet. For your first get-together, consider these suggestions:

Prepare for any inquiry

Several queries from pet parents are intentionally broad, such as "Why did you decide to become a pet caregiver?" and "Are you insured?" Building trust requires doing things like thinking ahead and having answers ready for frequently asked topics.

Ask a lot

Being ready for anything requires you to have questions ready to ask. It demonstrates that you care about your dog very much and are willing to go the extra mile for it.

Pay close attention to the details

Focus on specifics while posing questions. Inquiries like "Do you have a crating policy?" and "Is your dog microchipped?" demonstrate that you are paying attention.

Establish a schedule

Although it's beneficial to be approachable, it's also important to have regular work hours. Having clear boundaries is crucial; you don't want your pet parents texting you at 3 a.m. with news about your pet.

Be open and honest about your policies

Avoid any potential misunderstandings by informing the pet parent of the necessary steps to take in the event that they need to cancel or make changes to their reservation.

Provide a homemade goodie

To prove to Pet Parents that you will provide "pawsome" care for their pet, bake some tasty goodies in the shape of bones and serve them to their canine client. Before giving a treat to someone else's pet, you should always get permission and make sure there are no food allergies or sensitivities.

What to do if you're late

Being late for an appointment is one of the most common and uncomfortable experiences for pet caregivers to have. When you live in a congested urban area, being late is often an unfortunate reality.

If you're going to be late for an appointment, here are some things you can do.

Communicate immediately

Immediately inform the client of the issue. Otherwise, we'll have to cancel your appointment without any compensation.

Be accountable and provide an apology

Even if something out of your control was the reason for your tardiness, accept full responsibility. Explicate the circumstances and express regret. Doing so demonstrates maturity and can ease any tensions.

Pet Parents who call because they're late

Sometimes the Pet Parent calls to reschedule because they are running late. You suggested they utilize the Scout Pet Parent app to make the necessary adjustments.

How to make sure your clients' pet's needs are met

The Pet Caregiver's primary responsibility is to see that the needs of their clients are satisfied. Being attentive and taking in the instructions will go a long way towards guaranteeing a productive session.

It's important to take note of everything the client's Pet Parent has shared with you before your first session. The following items could be on this list:

  • Whether their pet can sit on the couch
  • What treats to give them?
  • How much time must be spent walking them?

Next, you should study canine body language. Since our pets can't communicate with us verbally, it's up to us to read their body language to decipher how they feel.

How to build trust with your customers

There are a number of things you can do before, during, and after a pet care session to earn your client's trust. Trust may be established right from the start if you come prepared and ask lots of questions.

One common mistake made by Pet Sitters is not checking in with the owner of the pet to ask any pertinent questions that might arise during the owner's absence. In general, pet owners appreciate being asked questions, especially those that haven't already been answered.

If you have any concerns or something goes wrong, please inform the pet's parents immediately. They'll enjoy being kept in the loop, and asking for their input as soon as possible demonstrates that you value their opinion and aren't attempting to hide anything from them. It's best to alert the Pet Parent right away, even if the dog is hurt, rather than to have to explain why you waited.

Reports and updates should be sent in great detail

Sharing photos and videos with Pet Parents is a great way to keep them in the loop and earn their trust. Your customer will be relieved to know that their pet is in good hands with regular photo and video updates, and they will enjoy checking in on their pet while they are away.

After the service has been completed, you can submit to the Pet Parent a report card outlining the service and including a picture of the dog looking adorable. Write the most "pawssible" report card you can.

Don't forget to take notes

The ability to record information about a pet or user profile is one of the best things about the Scout Pet Walkers app. Possible examples of such things are:

This data is shared with other Pet Sitters to make booking easier in the future. Before agreeing to take on a pet sitting job, it's a good idea to read through any notes made by the previous Pet Caretaker.

Falsifying your pet care history is deceitful

Be truthful in your profile as well. Don't pretend to be an expert on a rare disease, unusual breed, or uncontrollable animal if you have no prior experience dealing with them. It's likely that a Pet Parent will pry to learn the truth, and if you lie about your level of expertise in caring for a particular animal, it could come back to bite you.

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