If you run a one-man pet-sitting business—that is to say, if you, like most pet-sitters, do it as a way of earning extra cash—then you probably don’t have anyone to assist you in taking care of pets. One common situation for us occasional pet-sitters is being stuck with several animals at one time. While having several animals over at your house may sound great in theory, it can be a bit more complicated than you may think. Here are a few tips.
1. Pay equal attention to all pets, even if you secretly like one more than another
Whenever animals are being forced to live with other animals they do not know well, even temporarily, you can always count on at least one getting jealous. Especially if you are caring for several animals in addition to a dog or cat you already own, your animal will likely be disgruntled and upset. As such, it is important to pay equal attention to all animals, petting and giving them treats in equal measure.
2. Place animals in separate rooms if they don’t get along with each other
The best way to prevent any sort of incident with several animals staying in your house is to place them in separate rooms while unsupervised. In my personal experience, I’ve found that animals that may get along with each other while you are watching may be hiding aggressive behaviors, waiting for you to turn your back, so to speak. If you happen to leave your house for long periods of time, separating the various animals is the best way to go.
3. Enlist the help of a friend if you aren’t used to walking more than one animal
Walking one animal is usually an enjoyable experience, especially when the weather is nice. However, if you have to walk several animals at once, all of which have different walking rhythms, different outdoor distractions that interest them, and different places to mark their territory, you’ll find the experience daunting to do alone. If you can enlist the help of a friend or loved one, it will make walking several animals less of a headache.
4. Keep in touch with the owners while they are gone
This is good pet-sitting advice in general, but it is especially important if your customers know that you are caring for two or more of their animals, or if they know that their animal is being cared for in conjunction with other animals that aren’t theirs. Sending them an occasional picture via phone or updating them about their progress through email is a thoughtful way to build trust with your customers.
Whether you are new to pet-sitting or you are a seasoned professional, caring for multiple animals, which all have different needs and personalities, is not an easy thing to do.
Jemima Lopez is a freelance blogger and writer who writes for Zen College Life, the directory of higher education, distance learning, and best online colleges.