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How to Dog Sit for a Friend

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Last Updated on June 25, 2020 by ellen

Are you wondering how to dog sit for a friend? If you have a friend who will be away from home for a few days, they may ask you to take care of their dog. If you’re not familiar with dog sitting services, here are a few tips on what you should do.

How to Dog Sit for a Friend

How to Dog Sit for a Friend

If you’re wondering how to dog sit for a friend, the first step is to ask them what they need you to do. Everyone has different expectations when it comes to hiring a pet sitter. And, your friend may want more or less when you stop by.

Make sure that they show you where all of the supplies are including the leash, toys, food, treats, and poop bags for walks. And, be sure you understand where the dog is and is not allowed to go in the house.

How much should you pay a friend to dog sit?

Professional pet sitters can charge anywhere from $25 for a brief visit to $300 per week. Since this is a friend we’re talking about, your rate may be different than that. I’ve pet sat for friends nearby for free. And, that is perfectly fine if you want to do that. But, it’s also fine to expect some type of monetary compensation.

How to Dog Sit for a Friend

How do you take care of a friend’s dog?

The first thing to determine is whether or not you are bringing the dog to your home or you are going to theirs. If you already have pets, consider how your pets will react to a strange dog in their home. And, consider whether or not your house it pet safe. 

Do you have a pet-safe area for the dog to stay? Are your yard and garden free or plants that are toxic to animals? 

How to Dog Sit for a Friend

It may be easiest for the dog if you go to your friend’s home. The dog is already familiar with the home and the smells in the home. They have a favorite spot, a pet bed, and familiar surroundings.

If you’re wondering how to dog sit for a friend, remember that every dog is unique. They have their own personalities. So, these dog sitting tips can only go so far. You need to get to know the animal before your friend leaves. It may be helpful to bring along a new dog toy for them.

a dachshund standing in a white kitchen

Get the contact information

Be sure that your friend leaves a number where they can be reached while they’re away. You will also want a copy of their vet records and contact information for the vet and pet hospital they use in the area just in case.

Here are a few tips for emergency pet care.

How do you pet sit?

If you’re pet sitting at your friend’s home, you will need to stop by at least twice a day. You’ll need to let the dog out to go to the bathroom. And, you will want to take them on a walk to burn off energy. Dogs can be destructive when left in the house alone all day. 

I find it best to stop by once in the morning and then once in the early evening. This way, the dog can go outside to the bathroom. And, you can refill the food and water bowls. 

Expect to spend at least 30 minutes to an hour while you are there. Dogs enjoy being around people so be sure to talk to them, play with their favorite toys, scratch them, and talk to them. If you’re wondering how to dog sit for a friend, it involves more than food and walks.

a small brown dog sitting in a white chair in the garden

Learn their schedule

All animals have some type of schedule that they are used to. Ask your friend what time the dog normally eats, goes for a walk, and wakes up. Then, try to stick to this schedule as much as possible.

The dog won’t understand why they don’t have their breakfast at 6 AM when that’s the time they usually eat. Changes to their schedule can cause stress and anxiety which can lead to behavior problems.

Prepare for dog sitting problems

While no one likes problems, they do happen. If the dog gets loose, destroys something in the home, or gets sick, it’s important to be prepared. 

Be sure you have contact information for local animal control and veterinarians just in case.

To avoid potential personality problems, be sure that the dog knows you before your friend leaves. Stop by a few times to feed the dog, pet them, take them on a walk, and get to know them. If you feel that the dog is too aggressive for you to handle easily, it’s OK to say no. 

How to Dog Sit for a Friend

How to dog sit for a friend summary

  • Get to know the dog before your friend leaves.
  • Make sure you have their contact information and the vet’s phone number.
  • Learn the dog’s schedule and stick to it.
  • Find out where the supplies are.
  • Expect to spend at least 30 minutes twice a day.
  • Make sure to give the dog attention and love while you’re there.

If you’re interested in starting a pet sitting business to earn extra money, this is a great book.

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