Recently I had the opportunity to earn some extra money dog sitting. I’ve only done it one other time but this was a whole different experience. The first time I ever did any dog sitting I simply drove over to the persons house every morning and night, let the dog out, fed him, played with him for a little while and went back home.
This time the dog came and lived with me for 4 days!
Togo is an Australian Labradoodle. I thought he was Australian shepherd, labrador, and poodle mix but I was wrong. He is a labrador and poodle mix. The Australian part is just because the breed originated in Australia and you can read more about them here if you like!
It was a little nerve wracking to have him over. He’s still a puppy and had never been away from his family so I thought that he might whine all night, have accidents all over the house, or do other things that would make my mom super cranky. She had made it very clear that she was NOT going to be taking care of a puppy.
I am happy to report that this is the best puppy EVER. He never whined, slept all night, not one accident and he loves to cuddle! Best job ever!
Of course my cat Tommy wasn’t too happy with our new resident and I didn’t see much of him while Togo was with us. But he survived. Barely.
There are a lot of things to do when taking care of a dog and it’s really important to follow the directions that the owners give you. Especially if the animal needs medication or special food or anything like that. Here’s a list of things to consider before accepting a dog sitting job:
1 – Do you have time to spend with the animal? Obviously, cat’s don’t necessarily need the same amount of attention that a puppy needs, but you need to make sure that you are doing more than just feeding the animal. I cleared my calendar so that I could watch Togo.
2 – It’s a good idea to meet the animal before their family leaves so that they can get to know you a little bit. It should help them (and you) feel more comfortable. If it’s okay with their owner be sure to have a treat of some kind to give them when you meet them and the first time you seen them when their family is gone.
3 – Take them on a long walk several times a day. I figure that if they are tired they are less likely to get into trouble around the house. Every night before bed I took Togo on a long walk and I think that is one reason that he slept so well even though he wasn’t at home.
4 – Make sure that the dog is always secure and can’t get away. I can’t imagine anything worse than losing the dog you are supposed to be watching! I had to keep Togo on a leash at all times because he was small enough that he could get out of our backyard under the gate.
5 – Make sure to have the owner leave a written list of instructions so that you don’t forget anything. It’s also good to make sure you have an emergency contact number in case there is a problem. You definitely want to know things like when they should eat, how much food they get, how often you need to take them out to potty, and their veterinarians name and number.
6 – Help with training. If the dog isn’t allowed on furniture at home then you shouldn’t let them get on the furniture at your house either. If the owners are working with the puppy so that he won’t jump on people, then don’t let him jump on you. In other words, don’t send the dog home with bad habits the owner will not appreciate!
7 – Don’t pet sit if you don’t like dogs, or whatever animal you are responsible for. It isn’t fair to the owner or to the pet. Take it seriously and do a good job!
So what should you charge for dog sitting? It’s really up to you but I would recommend doing a little research in your area. Check and see how much it would cost to put the animal in a kennel. It’s actually pretty expensive and not easy for most pets to be in an unfamiliar cage with lots of other animals around. Most people pay between $30 and $40 dollars per day at a boarding kennel for EACH pet they have.
As I did a little research I read all sorts of advice. Some people said that teenagers should pet sit for free because it’s fun. (Don’t get me started.) Some people said $5 dollars a day. (Really?) Most of the articles that I read suggested between $20 and $40 per day. Considering the amount of work it is to really take good care of a pet I think those numbers are reasonable.
I had a wonderful time with my puppy for those few days. He was such a teddy bear and I loved watching him. Making the extra money was a huge blessing as well. Here’s hoping our friends go out a town a lot more in the future so I can take care of Togo again!
Here’s to making extra money this summer!