Sometimes when I’m working as an animal sitter, I have moments of hilarity, knowing things would have gone more smoothly with a little bit more forethought. Here are some tips that I’ve learned from mistakes. Maybe they’ll save you some effort!
-When caring for a puppy, wear long sleeves and long pants and closed toe shoes. Puppies have extremely fresh and sharp claws. They’ll unintentionally leave you very scratched when they joyfully try to get to your face for kisses.
-Always check your shoes before going back into a home after taking a dog outside. A quick look can save you a lot of work, because poo in carpet is a heck of a mess.
-Keep an extra pair of clothes in your vehicle, especially when caring for puppies or elderly canines. They have happy pee spells, sometimes right in your lap or on your chest if they like to give hugs.
-Carry both disinfecting wipes and paper towels. Disinfecting wipes are already saturated, so they do nothing for wiping up urine. You need to use paper towels first to dry up the pee, then use the disinfecting wipes to clean the area. If you’re interested in more environmentally friendly measures, you can do what I do. I use wash cloths and rags made from old t-shirts. Wash clothes are highly absorbent, so I keep them ready for spills and puddles. I sometimes make homemade disinfecting wipes, but I often just carry homemade spray. Once the cloth has dried the pee, I then spray and wipe. I have a wet bag I use to keep soiled laundry and I wash it and the rags at the same time, first on a cold rinse, then on hot with detergent. Also, I always keep disposable options in my vehicle anyway, because sometimes I’m not able to keep up with laundry, have used all my rags before I’ve met with all my clients for a day, or unexpectedly get a booking to visit a client when I don’t have my “pup bag”.
-If you prefer to save money, you can use old grocery bags as poop bags, but you’ll want to double bag them.
-Keep bandaids, baby wipes, and hand sanitizer at all times. Bandaids help with scratches. The baby wipes can be used to wipe yourself and pups and the sanitizer is necessary when you’re not near soap.
-If you walk dogs in the evening, keep bug spray in your vehicle and spray yourself outside beforehand. Once a pup is happy to walk and sees that leash, you’ll likely forget to spray and come home with bites.
As I learn more things that help me, I’ll share.