Puppies are surely the most adorable little floofs on the planet! Who could say no to pet sitting a bundle of roly-poly joy when the opportunity comes up?
If you’ve never looked after a puppy before, or it’s been a while, then you need to know this – it's next-level pet sitting. What we mean by this is it’s fun, it’s full-on, and it’s definitely NOT a walk in the park!
As well as knowledge and saintly patience, you’ve really got to know what you’re in for when caring for puppies. Here are a few things to bear in mind before you say yes to pup sitting.
Puppies need supervision – lots of it
Don’t expect to be able to look after a pup and work long hours in the office, or perform only home visits. They are bundles of need and energy and really need full-on supervision and entertainment.
For this reason, the best pet sitting services for puppies is house sitting or home boarding BUT….for reasons we will go into, home boarding a puppy is not for everyone!
Puppies like to chew
From about 12 weeks of age, puppies will begin teething and potentially chew on anything they can get their little fangs into. This is when to introduce safe chew toys and keep up the stimulating play and exercise to burn energy.
Speak with the pet owner about potential chew hazards (including good furniture, electrical cords, plants and your fingers/ankles!) and how to prevent the puppy from chewing on these. Be very prepared for this behaviour in your home if you’re having a pup coming to board with you!
Puppies need attention
This is exactly why we love them! Pups are engaged and playful little critters, usually coming from an environment with other siblings and a mum to hang out with.
You will need to give plenty of cuddles, play and love….and know that crying at night or whining during separation is a very real possibility, as well as digging and scratching if there is a bit of separation anxiety. Have a big chat with the pet owner about sleeping arrangements, ESPECIALLY if you are boarding at home.
Puppies have accidents
Puppies are still figuring out their world and what is expected of them, so be patient!
As a pet sitter you will probably have to hold the fort when it comes to toilet training, and remember that accidents can and do happen….so really think this through before boarding a puppy in your carpeted home, or discuss what the pet owner expects at their home. And be prepared to roll up your sleeves and clean up the odd accident!
Puppies need training
Even if this is just the simple stuff, like food manners, socialization or teaching the pupper not to jump: as the puppy’s carer you will need to consistently follow through with the training program expected by the puppy’s owner. If this means daily walking practice, or visits to puppy pre-school, or simply respecting how the puppy’s owner wants the puppy to sit and stay before food, so be it. These early years are so crucial for dogs and you want to carry the flame while the owner is away.
Have you minded many adorable puppies through Pawshake before? Let us know on our Facebook page!