Please welcome this guest post from Lauren Colman
Many owners cannot travel with their dogs, so they leave them at the homes of relatives, close friends or trusted dog sitters. If you agree to become a dog sitter in your own home, preparing your house is essential. Dogs can do a lot of damage even when they are not stressed, but separation anxiety and the excitement of a new environment can trigger negative behaviors that put your home and its contents at risk. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to prevent potential problems.
How to Prepare Your Home
- Use baby gates to limit access to areas that are off-limits.
- Cover upholstered furniture with sheets, slip covers or plastic wrap.
- Remove or hide items that could be easily broken, chewed or soiled.
- If possible, relocate house plants. Poisonous plants are not the only problem; any plant may become a victim of an enthusiastic digger.
- Remove all loose items from the floor.
- Roll up and store any expensive rugs.
- If you have delicate flooring, protect it from scratches by placing plastic runners in vulnerable areas.
- Hide electrical cords or protect them with plastic tubing.
- Secure any items that hang such as tablecloths and runners.
- If you have blinds, raise them whenever it is practical to do so. Vinyl blinds are particularly vulnerable to damage.
- Be sure that any long, hanging strings or cords are out of reach.
Keeping the Dog Safe
Be sure to have non-toxic cleaning supplies and enzyme-based odor remover on hand for accidents. Place all chemicals, cleaners, toiletries and medicines out of reach. Don’t forget to check the garage or outdoor storage shed if the dog can access them. If you have a fenced yard, inspect the fence for possible escape routes.
Important Questions Every Dog Sitter Should Ask
There are several things you should find out before the owners leave their dog with you. You’ll need to know what supplies, toys and treats they are bringing. If the dog becomes bored and has nothing to chew or play with, it may turn its attention to your furniture and upholstery. Ask about its chewing habits to get a better idea of what household items will need extra protection. Find out if it is housebroken and what its typical elimination schedule is. Ask about its temperament and behavioral issues. You will also need to know if it is allowed on furniture. Rules that are enforced at the dog’s home should stay consistent out of respect for the owners’ training efforts.
Make Every Visit a Success
Dog-sitting should be rewarding and fun for the sitter, an adventure for the dog and a welcome respite for the pet’s owners. If you get all the information you need ahead of schedule and carefully prepare and protect your home, your efforts result in happy dog owners, happy dogs and a safely intact home.
Author Bio: Lauren Colman serves as the digital marketer for the dog boarding and dog sitting community at Rover.com and is a true dog lover at heart. Lauren spends her days at the office with her dogs Squish and Brando by her side. For more dog tips, you can follow Rover.com on Twitter @roverdotcom or on their blog, Dog Boarding News.