Tips for California pet sitters considering new jobs

Learn what to ask and which steps to take before you accept a pet sitting job. A single question can help set the entire tone of your relationship with the pet.

While you love pet sitting for families and individuals in California, you have to be careful about the jobs you take and the pets you take care of. Even if you have been pet sitting for a while, it is still a good idea to remind yourself of some of the basics. That way, you, your clients and their pets all have a better chance of sidestepping a potentially nasty legal situation involving a personal injury.

Arrange for a meet-and-greet

For new clients, it is vital that you meet them and their pets before accepting a job. This is a great way of creating a solid foundation of trust. You can meet the client at her or his home if that is where you will be taking care of the pet, or the meeting can take place at your home if the pet will spend time there. If it makes either party more comfortable, you can also arrange an initial meeting at a public park.

Ask what kind of pet you will be taking care of

No matter how good you are with dogs or cats, or any other type of pet, you should always ask what kind of pet you will be taking care of. That way, you can prepare for the breed's usual temperament. Also, you may be under the impression that you will only be looking after a single pet when in actuality, the potential client has two or more pets. Be sure to ask about the pet's personality, so you have an easier time bonding.

Get an idea of the pet's level of separation anxiety

Some pets cannot stand being apart from their owners for a long time. During your initial meet, ask the owner to leave the room for a few minutes. Take note of how the pet acts, and ask the owner if there are any tips or tricks you can put to good use to calm the pet. The truth of the matter may be that unless the owner has cameras set up around the house, she or he may truly not know how the dog acts when she or he is away.

Ask about triggers

To better avoid an accidental dog bite, even from the friendliest of pooches, ask about any triggers the pet may have. For instance, the sound of a vacuum cleaner or a thunderstorm can put a dog on edge. If the pet does have specific triggers, ask how to best deal with them.

Despite your best efforts to take proper care of your clients and their pets whilst enjoying life in California, there are no guarantees. If you suffer any type of personal injury on the job, explore your rights with a lawyer.