Pet sitting is a great career option for animal lovers, as they can work with a variety of pets in their own homes, or in other settings. But along with the many advantages of pet sitting come difficult times. How can you break bad news to clients?
A Client’s Pet is Dying or Has Died
Coping with the death of a pet is every pet sitter’s nightmare. We are hired to help nurture and care for the physical and emotional well-being of pets while they are in our care. No one wants to be the one who has to break the devastating news that a pet is dying or has died, in our care. However, pet sitters are occasionally faced with this type of situation.
If a pet becomes seriously ill while you are in charge, you should do all you can to help the pet and immediately refer to the client’s emergency contact list. Contact the pet owners, if they can come quickly, the vet, and any other emergency contact, such as a client’s friend or family member. Keep clients informed of every small detail until they can come, including written documentation, and any information that the vet has provided. It is important that you are able to account for your actions.
You Can No Longer Work for Them
Pet sitters never know for sure if the latest job they have taken on will last a month or for several years. Some clients become more like family and will view pet sitters as another loving, caring individual in their pet’s life. That is why it often comes as a complete shock when a pet sitter hands in their notice.
If you can no longer work for a client, for whatever reason, you owe it to them to be fair. The least you can do is offer ample notice, so that clients can start advertising for a replacement pet sitter. You should never quit with just a day’s notice. Not only will you be letting down clients and their pets, but it is also very unprofessional.
A Client’s Pet is Hard to Handle
Dealing with untrained or unruly pets can be very trying and grate on your patience to the point where you no longer look forward to being around such pets. Pet sitters who wish to be taken seriously will not want to create a bad impression by always providing a negative report about a client’s pet. If you find yourself in such a situation, you may be unwilling to share such news, but you owe it to clients to let them know how their pets are getting along.
Provide detailed daily reports, specifically stating how a pet is behaving, any known triggers, and how you are trying to address the issue. Clients need to know if their pet is aggressive, has a tendency to bark at children or has tried to attack other dogs. A reasonable client will see that your reports are not a personal attack, but a way of letting them know of a serious issue that needs to be controlled.
Breaking bad news to clients can be difficult. Pet sitters want to maintain a good two-way relationship with clients and to do all they can to provide a good, quality service for them and their pets. However, when bad news needs to be imparted, you should do so in a professional manner.
More from this contributor:
Pet Sitters: How to Part on Good Terms with Clients
Pet Sitters: Should You Leave Pets Alone in a Car?
Should You Take Your Dog to Obedience Classes?