by Laura Parkin
So you’re a pet sitter and someone has just called you to care for their pets. What’s the next step you may ask? The next step is to set-up a time for you to meet with them. I like to call this a pet sitting interview. I use the word interview because it is much like one. Not only are you interviewing the customer but they are interviewing you as well. Remember to conduct yourself with confidence and if you ask appropriate questions about food, meds, waste and most important emergency information you will not only get the job but a trusted friend.
The forms are most important when conducting an interview. It is recommended that you format your forms in the order of questions you’d like to ask. Starting with the name and addresses followed by numbers and emergency information. Under the contact information you should include any additional information about the house and what the customers expect you to do. Does the customer need any plants watered? Where and how often? Having a line for newspaper, mail, garbage day and plants will help you remember when the time comes.
It is recommended having separate forms for contact information and animal information. The form for animal information can be very extent. There are a lot of questions that need to be asked to ensure the perfect care for that specific animal. Starting with the type of animal and its breed to the name and age is a given. Where is their food, what time and how do you feed them? This information varies with each customer as well as: where you walk them or clean up their waste. Never assume the same care for different customers.
Medication questions may be the most important questions you will ask the customer. There are some serious illnesses or conditions that exist in our beloved animals. Does the animal have any allergies? You need to ask the customer if there are any medical conditions that you need to be aware of. Talking to the customer and learning about these specific conditions could help you in case of an emergency. What type of medication, how and when do you administer them? Knowing this could save a life.
Along with the basic questions there are also other just as important to ask. Talk to the customer about their animal’s personality and traits. Their likes and dislikes. Is there proof of any aggression whether with strangers, animals or food? In the case of food knowing can help you from being bitten. Other questions to ask might be about their interests. Where does the dog sleep? Are they to be locked up when left alone? What do they like to play with? Do you have any bad behaviors like chewing or digging?
These are not the only questions that need to be asked when conducting a professional pet sitting interview but it’s a great start. If you’re a professional pet sitter there is no doubt that you love animals and probably have some of your own. A good way to create your own list of questions is to do a practice run on your own pets. Write down what you do and what you would tell someone watching your beloved animals.
Laura Parkin has been a pet sitter for about 5 years now working with all types of animals. I have conducted many pet sitting interviews and am constantly thinking up new questions to ask. Getting to know the animal in my care is the best part of the job. To learn more about Laura Parkin and her pet sitting services visit her on the web at http://www.Bartlettpetsitting.com.