Wednesday, 21 June 2017

The Highs & Lows Of Being A Dog Sitter


I've been a dog sitter for just over 2 years now and it's been such a crazy yet fun experience; it even led to me and my family getting our own dog as we just couldn't handle the sound of an empty house once our guests had left. They bring such liveliness and love to a home and you're guaranteed a busy ride, no matter what the breed!
But it's not all play time and smooches, there are some situations when things don't work out how you expect and you have to adapt, which can be stressful for both dog sitter and the dog. Here are a few of the highs & lows I've encountered along the way and how I've attempted to overcome them to become a better doggie mumma and deliver a great home away from home for people's beloved pooches 💕🐕

↑ MEETING GREAT PERSONALITIES
As you all know, dogs come in all shapes and sizes and their personalities are quite the same, no dog is an exact copy of another. Over the years I've had the pleasure to look after some gorgeous dogs, from pugs and frenchies to labradors and dalmatians, and I can honestly say, it's always a little bit painful when you have to give back a great dog. You get to know them during their time with you and they adapt to your lifestyle; snuggling in bed, greeting you with a smile and kiss every morning, playing happily alongside your own dog and much more that really melts my heart and makes the job so much easier than your typical 9-5 office job.

↑ LEARNING ABOUT DIFFERENT BREEDS
I'm no expert when it comes to dogs, I've just always had an insane love for them ever since I was a child so having an opportunity to care for a variety of different breeds has been a blast! You'd be surprised how quickly you have to learn when you're given a breed you know next to nothing about and have to find out how to care for their individual needs compared to the last dog you had. Some owners are kind enough to give you instructions or an insight into their pooches behaviours, routine, allergies, etc...but others just kind of expect you to be a doggie genius so you're left on your own to google the crap out of things at the last minute. Luckily the internet is a god send during these times so you can find out literally anything you need to and it's safe to say, I've spent my fair share of time googling British Bulldogs and how to keep them cool in the hot weather! 🤣

 ↑ SOCIALISING YOUR OWN DOG
Having adopted my 2 year old Japanese Chin Nobu only a year ago (see picture below), there was a lot for me to learn in a short space when it came to socialising him, especially with dogs that basically took over the house for a few days/weeks at a time. Like any other male with small dog syndrome, he's very territorial and thinks he's the boss of the house. But what he forgets is we regularly dog sit dogs that are twice, maybe three times the size of him and we've got to be careful he doesn't get too big for his boots and get accidentally knocked down by a client's pet. We've had no trouble as of yet, he's pretty chill, apart from with British Bulldogs - for some reason he seems to find them threatening which I found out was a common problem for little dogs due to the bulldogs loud breathing and squished face, bless them - but it's always super duper cute to see him running around the field with a massive grin on his face with breeds you'd never expect him to get along with so that's a massive bonus!


OWNERS NOT TELLING YOU CERTAIN THINGS
Now for the first of the lows of this occupation. Three or four times now I've had clients come and meet me before their holiday so we can have a chat about their dog and his/her needs, etc, but they've failed to mention crucial information that has led to a stressful time later on down the line. Just one example: if your dog has a severe ear infection and spends almost every waking moment of his days crying in pain whilst he's scratching it and doesn't want to eat, play or go on walks because he's suffering then you NEED to tell your dog sitter before you drop them off and give them the required medicine/instructions. I cannot stress how unbelievably sad it was discovering this situation with one of my doggie guests and it made me very anxious for the rest of the week as I had no information about the dog to take him to the local vets to get any treatment, nor could I get hold of the owners to find out if they were aware of it and what I should do.
Like I said earlier, I'm not a dog expert, so when situations like this arise, it freaks me out just as much as any other person and I had to spend every day caring for this poor dog that looked like he wanted to bite his ear off rather than go on another day. 😢 Not cool. 

HIGH MAINTENANCE CLIENTS
You'll probably see the title to this one and think it sounds bitchy but my god, you would be surprised at some dog owners that genuinely believe their dog is the King/Queen of England. I'm all about giving extra love and care to dogs that are accustomed to certain ways of living but when it comes to letting your dog walk all over you and own your house with no regard to you or your belongings, that's where I draw the line. At the end of the day, dogs are animals, not humans. Yes they're incredible creatures and the majority of them have a heart of gold, but if you actively bring up your pooch to be as stuck up as you, then you have a serious problem. I'm sure I speak for all dog sitters out there when I say it is not okay to let someone look after your dog only for them to bark and growl at them every time they walk into their own house, aggressively approach any new dog for no reason, go to the toilet anywhere and everywhere in the house even when the doors are constantly open for them and they are walked 2 times a day and many more ridiculous issues I've had to deal with in my time.

That's all I can think of for the lows to be honest, I've not had any other major issues so far that I can think of right now so I guess that's the end of my huge rant! 😋 Most dogs I have end up becoming an addition to the family so despite the ups and downs, I couldn't recommend dog sitting more if you're an animal lover and would prefer to work from home. It's so rewarding in so many ways and you'll make some hilarious memories with some of the loopy pooches you come across. 🐶

If you work with dogs or any other kind of animals and have some stories/experiences you'd like to share, leave a comment, I'd love to hear them!


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2 comments

  1. Awww so lovely! We would love to have a pug become part of our family once we move house but have been unsure up til now, you might have just convinced me haha! Your blog is so beautiful :D xx

    elizabeth ♡ ”Ice Cream” whispers Clara
    (lets follow each other on bloglovin or instagram)

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    1. Haha aww yay, you should definitely go for it, dogs are such a great addition to the family, you won't regret it! ♡ Oh thank you! I appreciate it :3
      Followed you on bloglovin & instagram, lovely ^-^ xx

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