Pets

Dog Sitting: Understanding the Dog’s Needs


Dog sitting is the practice of providing short-term care and supervision to dogs while their guardians are out of the house. This service offers a variety of options, from brief visits to overnight stays, to maintain the well-being of canine friends by giving company, feeding, and any essential care.

For the sake of the dogs’ well-being, comfort, and protection, it is essential to hire a dog sitter who is responsible and attentive. It entails providing for their fundamental need, but also getting to know their unique personalities, any health concerns, and making sure they are safe and cared for. Having a reliable dog sitter is essential for keeping the trust of dogs and their guardians, which in turn makes the experience enjoyable for everyone.

If you aim to become the best dog guardian for your pup, subscribe to The Happy Puppers. The subscription option is present in the sidebar. If you like watching videos, subscribe to the YouTube channel of The Happy Puppers, Shruti and Delta. Remember to ring the notification bell and set it to all so that YouTube notifies you the moment a new video releases from the channel.

Getting Ready for dog sitting

Get the necessary details from the Guardian

Communicating with the guardian is crucial prior to dog sitting. You must start with getting the specifics regarding the dog’s eating habits, exercise regimen, health background, and any unusual habits or preferences. This guarantees that the care of the dog is tailored to each individual.

Getting ready
Getting ready

Have an advance meeting with the dog:

A chance to get to know the dog is available during a pre-sitting meeting. It will be much easier to ease into the sitting process if you are familiar with the dog’s personality, level of comfort among new people, and favorite things to do. If you are not aware of these facts, consult the dog guardian beforehand.

Ensure the dog is safe and comfortable:

Dogproof the space

Make sure there are no dangers in the area by clearing it out. To make sure your dog doesn’t choke or consume anything toxic, you should secure electrical wires, put dangerous substances in their proper places, and think like a dog.

Create a specific space for feeding and sleeping:

Make sure the dog has a safe and cozy place to do its daily business. Having a specific spot for your dog to eat and sleep in can help establish routines, which in turn can make sitting time more comfortable and secure for your dog.

Must Have Items When Dog Sitting

It is always preferable to make a list of all the items that you will need before you embark on the dog-sitting procedure. Have a sit-down session with the guardians and sort out the minor details before you start with the dog sitting procedure.

Treats and meals:

Make sure you have plenty of the dog’s usual food and any treats the dog loves or the guardian has requested. Maintaining a regular eating schedule and rewarding good behavior with snacks will help keep tummies and the brain of the dog, happy and healthy.

Bowls for food and water 

Keep potable water on hand at all times. To help keep the dog comfortable and familiar during their stay, make sure they have their own dishes for food and water. If possible get the dog’s regular dishes. The familiarity will put the dog at ease.

Collar and leash 

For outside adventures, make sure the dog has a sturdy collar and leash. Get the guardian’s OK before deciding on a collar or harness if there are any particular preferences or instructions. Some breeds are not well suited for collars which makes harness compulsory. On the other hand, some dogs (with leash pulling habit) may need additional leashes or collars to ensure a smooth walk.

Soft, cozy bedding:

Furnish a warm and inviting spot where the dog can relax. Making sure that the dog you are sitting has a comfortable place to sleep—be it on a bed, a blanket, or some other specific spot—is important for his or her health and relaxation.

Cozy bedding
Cozy bedding

Entertainment and toys

Dogs need a wide range of toys to maintain their interest and mental stimulation. Use the dog’s favorite toys and other familiar belongings from home to help ease any separation anxiety it may be feeling during the process of dog sitting.

Medical supplies:

Put together a canine first aid bag with the essentials, such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, and any prescriptions the dog might need during dog sitting, just in case. In the event of an emergency, have the dog’s medical records and emergency contacts on hand.

Daily Routine During Dog Sitting

 The Feeding Plan:

Initiate and maintain a regular feeding routine by the guardian’s directions. Keep the dog on their regular schedule while ensuring they get the right portions and supplements they may need.

Physical activity and recreation:

Include time for play and exercise in your daily schedule. To ensure the dog’s physical and emotional health, participate in activities that suit its activity level and interests. You can go with interactive toys or long walks. If the dog has health issues and cannot go on long walks, opting for interactive toys is your best option.

Bathroom break and outside time

Make sure to give your dog plenty of opportunity to relieve itself and explore the outdoors. This can be done by scheduling regular toilet breaks. Walking, playing outside, or just spending time in a yard are great ways to get some exercise and keep the dog active.

Training sessions:

Always adhere to the guardian’s established training commands and practices. A happy and well-behaved atmosphere can be maintained by consistently reinforcing known commands. If the guardian has a training routine for the dog, follow that to the T.

Cognitive challenges

Do things that will test the dog’s brain. Things like fundamental training exercises, interactive games, and puzzle toys fall within this category. To keep the dog from being bored or anxious, it’s important to keep their minds active. This is also a great way to tire of high energy dogs.

Considerations Regarding Health and Safety During Dog Sitting

Emergency contacts

Acquire and maintain a record of emergency contacts. These should include the guardian’s contact information, a secondary contact, and the veterinarian’s contact information for the dog. In the event of an emergency, this facilitates prompt communication. Put down the emergency details where they can be easily accessed by you like on the fridge.

Health and safety concerns
Health and safety concerns

Take note of medications and health issues

Learn everything you can about the dog’s medical background, including any current or past illnesses or treatments. For the sake of the dog’s health, it is essential to take medications as directed. Be alert to any possible problems that may occur during the duration of dog sitting.

Vet details

Always keep the number and address of the closest vet facility on hand. A prompt response and the ability to reach a veterinarian are important in the event of a medical emergency. If you are going to the guardian’s house to sit their dog, make sure you know the route to the closest emergency vet like the back of your hand.

Handling emergencies

Learn to recognize the subtle but noticeable changes in your dog’s behavior. Focus on the appetite, or energy levels that can indicate distress or sickness. Make a plan for handling emergencies, such as getting to the vet if needed. This will ensure that the health and safety of the dog is covered.

Establishing Trust with Your Dog

Forming a connection via positive reinforcement

Build trust by interacting positively with the dog. Make a good impression by spending quality time with them, playing, caressing, and rewarding them with treats. Creating a safe and welcoming space requires bonding over shared values and good times. It is preferable to have a meet and greet with the dog before you start dog sitting. This way, the dog wont feel left in the company of a total stranger.

Acknowledging and Appreciating the Dog’s Nonverbal Cues

Recognize and respond appropriately to the dog’s nonverbal cues to determine how they are feeling. Keep an upbeat and stress-free atmosphere by paying attention to their signals, like as wagging tails, ears pricked back, or other tiny indications of distress. Paying close attention to what they say strengthens the connection and lays the groundwork for trust.

Positive reinforcement for behavior change

To motivate the required actions, use positive reinforcement strategies. If your dog shows good behavior, follows your orders, or adjusts well to its new home, praise it, mark and reward the behavior. Dogs learn to trust their caregivers and develop cooperative and pleasant relationships when they get positive reinforcement like treats, praise, or play.

Communication with the dog guardian during dog sitting

Continual communication and status updates

Keep the lines of communication open by checking in with the guardian and giving them updates regularly. Talk about the dog’s day, how he’s feeling, and how he’s doing generally. This gives the guardian peace of mind about their dog’s well-being and guarantees openness.

Communication with dog guardians
Communication with dog guardians

Communicating worries or behavioral changes

Notify the guardian immediately if you notice anything out of the ordinary with the dog’s feeding habits, health, or demeanor. By keeping in close contact with their vet, dog guardians may anticipate and discuss any problems that may arise, fostering a team approach to their dog’s treatment and well-being.

Adhering to the guardian’s guidelines and preferences

For the dog’s schedule, food, training commands, and any particular care instructions, be sure to follow the guardian’s lead. Adherence to the prescribed routine facilitates the dog’s adjustment and strengthens the bond between guardian and caregiver. Changing the routine will only make the pup more anxious. So follow the routine exactly as its laid out during dog sitting.

Handling Common Problems in Dog Sitting

Handling separation anxiety

Gradual departures and arrivals, leaving familiar things with the dog, and offering mental stimulation are some techniques to lessen separation anxiety. Find out from the guardian, if the dog has any history of anxiety disorders. If the answer is yes, make sure you acclimatise yourself with the pooch before you start dog sitting. This will help with the anxiety issues.

Dealing with problems related to behavior:

Handle issues related to behavior with consistency and patience. Make use of a structured setting, divert undesirable behaviors, and praise good ones. It is possible to overcome typical behavioral issues with a dog by learning its triggers and employing effective training methods. If there is an accident inside the house, do not scold or punish the dog. Just clean the accident quickly and reward the dog when he defecates or urinates in the designated region.

Dietary Issues during Dog Sitting

Pay close attention to the guardian’s feeding instructions to address any dietary issues. Take the dog to the clinic if you notice any signs of intestinal problems or unwillingness to eat. Also inform the guardian of the same at the earliest. The dog’s health and happiness depend on your ability to keep to a regular and suitable feeding schedule. In case the dog is on a homemade diet, find out the ingredients and recipe so that there are no unexpected changes to the dog’s diet.

Dealing with unanticipated medical problems

Keep the guardian’s emergency protocols and the veterinarian’s contact information on hand in case of any unforeseen health problems. Keep an eye out for any symptoms of discomfort and get the dog to the doctor as soon as possible if necessary. When dealing with unforeseen health issues, it is best to keep lines of communication open with the guardian.

How to be successful at dog sitting?

Sticking to the dog’s schedule 

This includes playing with the dog, taking it for walks, and feeding it at regular intervals. Maintaining routines helps dogs adjust to life without their guardian by creating a sense of security and familiarity.

Documenting behaviors and activities

Document everything that happens to the dog every day, including its actions, demeanor, and noteworthy occurrences. The guardian can receive detailed updates and have a smooth transition when they return if they document details like meals, potty breaks, and playtime.

How to be successful at dog sitting
How to be successful at dog sitting

Establishing a Reliable Bond

Spend some quality time getting to know your dog and developing a trusting bond with it. Do things they like, praise them when they do well, and watch for signs that the dog needs your help. Both the dog and the caretaker benefit from a peaceful and stress-free experience when there is a solid attachment.

Provide a detailed summary to the guardians

Make sure you document all of the dog’s important habits, activities, and concerns before the guardian comes back. The guardian can benefit greatly from this overview, which will help the dog adjust back to his or her normal routine at home.

Conclusion for Dog Sitting

Last but not least, being a good dog sitter is more than just feeding and walking the dog; it’s an all-encompassing service that puts the dog’s health, happiness, and comfort first. Having a happy and meaningful dog sitting experience is possible by understanding the dog’s particular requirements, keeping the guardian informed, and using intelligent ways to build trust and solve frequent issues. A smooth transition while the guardian is away and a happy reunion upon their return are the results of consistency, documentation, and a true dedication to the dog’s well-being. Caring for a dog while you’re away is an important and rewarding task that strengthens the link between dog parents and their beloved dogs.

If you wish to be the best guardian for your dog, subscribe to The Happy Puppers so you can stay updated with the latest tips and tricks about dog care, psychology and training. If you like watching videos, subscribe to the YouTube channel of The Happy Puppers, Shruti and Delta. Remember to ring the notification bell and set it to ALL so YouTube never misses out on notifying you about the latest videos released from the channel.

See you in my next blog pot

Dr. Shruti

Frequently Asked Questions for dog sitting

What information should I provide to a dog sitter before leaving my dog in their care?

Just before you leave your dog with a sitter, make sure they have all the information they need, including your dog’s regular schedule, favorite foods, medical history, and emergency contacts. Share the dog’s daily schedule, likes, and dislikes with the sitter for a more customized and enjoyable experience.

How can I help my dog adjust to a new dog sitter?

Set up a meet-and-greet in advance if you want your dog to feel more at ease with a new sitter. Before leaving your dog with a sitter, make sure they are well-versed on your dog’s routine, likes, and dislikes. Leaving behind beloved items, such as a blanket or a beloved toy, might help smooth the transition.

What should a dog sitter do in case of a medical emergency or unexpected health issue?

A dog sitter should always keep the contact information of the guardian and vet close at hand, just in case. In case of a medical emergency, the sitter must promptly inform the guardian and seek help from a veterinarian. If you are well-prepared and adhere to any emergency measures, you will respond quickly and successfully.

How often should a dog sitter update the guardian about their dog’s well-being?

Consistent communication is key to keeping the guardian happy. The daily report from a dog sitter should include the dog’s whereabouts, eating habits, and any alarming or unusual behavior. By consistently and communicating with the guardian, you can preserve their trust and apprise them of your dog’s progress.



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