We often get requests from prospective and existing clients asking to book us to care for their dogs and cats when they have friends, neighbors, or family covering some of the visits. Unfortunately, due to liability issues, we are unable to job share when pet sitting with anyone other than a sitter taking jobs with Rufus and Delilah. When under our care, we let clients know if there is anything off or unusual with their pets or home. However, with job sharing when pet sitting, if there is a problem with a clients home or their pets while they are away or upon their return, we do not want to be held liable for anything that may happen when their pet isn’t in our care.
See below for 7 examples of why we won’t job share when pet sitting.
- If a clients dog or cat is on a limited ingredient diet, we don’t want to be responsible for food they may be given or can get into on their own if you have someone outside of Rufus and Delilah providing care.
- If a door or gate is left unlocked or ajar, we do not want to be held responsible if your pet is able to get out when no one is home.
- If the other caregiver is responsible for unlocking or locking a gate or closing or opening a doggy door before or after a gardener or pool cleaner comes over, we do not want to be responsible if your dog gets out.
- If a clients pet gets injured during play time or on a walk when they are not in our care, again we do not want to be responsible.
- If a pet takes medication, we don’t want to be liable if the medication isn’t given properly.
- If a clients friend or family member does not show up for their visits we may not know if a visit, meal, or medication was missed.
- If a client returns home to something broken or missing, we do not want to be held responsible for something we did not do.
The above are only a few of many possible examples where pet care can be compromised when job sharing when pet sitting or splitting visits with friends, neighbors, or family of clients. It is not that we are trying to make more money by asking a client to book all the visits with us, it is for the safety of our clients pets and to eliminate liability issues playing a game of he said, she said that prohibits us from job sharing when caring for clients pets.
When you book pet sitting visits for your pets, do you ask your pet sitter to job share with friends, neighbors, or family? If you do, how do you handle it when there are issues with either your pet or your home upon your return?
I totally respect the need for a single point of responsibility when it comes to pet sitting. When my pet sitter explained the no-job-share policy I was at first disappointed. But now I know it gives me a great sense of security knowing my dogs are not going to suffer because of a miscommunication between caregivers, and I have just one person to call!
Leah, we are happy to read that as disappointed as you were when your dog sitter shared with you a ‘no job share policy’ that you not only worked with the dog sitter but you’ve come to understand and like the policy when leaving your pups in the care of their dog sitter.
Typically when I explain this to my clients (in West Hartford, CT!), I stress how it is all about the safety of the pets, number one. Number two, I tell them about how I used to be just a pet sitter and then became a pet sitting business owner. Since I am a young owner, I explain to them all the things I just learned in order to enjoy a longstanding and healthy business. I explain (and go a little further if they prod) how if I didn’t have this policy my business would fail in a short number of years.
I also stress to clients how I’m not judging them for not understanding or knowing this type of policy exists – because when you stress about how its for the safety, sometimes they think you are saying to the client “you are unsafe, how could you want me to do shared pet sitting?” Then that creates defensiveness and is a no-no for the client-owner relationship.
I do a lot of smiling, laughing, and connecting with clients when I have to explain this stuff because in the end of the day its more about the connection and trust than the nuances of the policy! But the policy must be upheld!! Great blog post guys!
David Steinberg, David’s Pet Services
Hi David. We are so glad you like our article and also uphold the same policy with your clients for the safety of their pets. Like you, we always put our clients pets safety first. Before I wrote this article, I found myself often explaining to clients why we don’t job share. Some understand more easily than others. Some would even get mad. Yet once I wrote this article and started it sharing it with clients who were asking us to care for their pets while they where away while also having a friend or neighbor to cover some of the visits, they have an easier time understanding that we are really doing this to ensure their pets safety.