& dog daycares throughout the USA."> Locate pet sitters, dog walkers, dog runners, & dog daycares throughout the USA.

Making changes in how clients care for their pets can backfire

by Therese on August 25, 2011

in Pet Sitting, The Pet Care Biz

Pet sitters need to be careful when making changes to the way clients care for their pets.I got an email from a pet owner who wanted my opinion about an incident she had with a pet sitter. She’d hired this pet sitter to care for her two cats and when she got home, she found that the sitter had made some pretty significant changes where her cats were concerned. Here’s an excerpt from her email:

When I got home she had changed out the litter box to one which is biodegradable and changed the littler to Swheat litter. She took down air fresheners I had plugged in and put them in a closet. And she wrote me a long note about my cat’s wheezing and how I was possibly contributing to his breathing issues. I felt so violated and I think she is totally out of line and plan to talk to her when she brings my keys back. Your insight? Didn’t she step out of boundaries here?

I fully understand the pet sitter had the cats’ best interest at heart, and I commend her for that. But I do think she overstepped her boundaries. Unless the cats were in immediate danger, she should not have made any changes without the pet owner’s knowledge and consent. I can only assume the pet sitter thought it was an urgent matter, and that being the case, a call or email to the client would have been the way to go. She could have explained to the pet owner what she suggested and why. At that point, it would have been the owners’ decision.

The client told me she would have welcomed the changes, but the fact that they were done without her consent left her feeling violated. She was very upset, and I believe the pet sitter may have lost a client over her actions. I know I would feel the same way! I can’t imagine coming home to find out, without any type of discussion, that my dogs’ beds (or other items) had been tossed out because the sitter thought they were inappropriate. That would certainly be the last time I called on that pet sitting company.

Pet sitters deal with situations like this fairly often. It can be very difficult to decide how to approach the owner so they don’t feel violated. It can be done successfully, but it requires a lot of tact and sensitivity when trying to educate clients about a situation that may be unsafe or unhealthy. But unless it involves cruelty, or an emergency health situation, it’s not our place to make unrequested changes to their way of life.

How would you feel if your pet sitter did something like this?

And, if you’re a pet sitter, how would you have handled a situation like this?

Photo: stock photo

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Tina Clark August 26, 2011 at 10:05 am

I cringed reading this. I can’t imagine taking such liberties with a client. I am one of those people who intensely dislike the regular clay or clumping litters, and feel the dust they cause is hazardous, and have even written about tht in my newsletters, and try to educate clients about it, but even so, the thought of even considering changing it without the client’s consent is unthinkable.


Sue Johnson September 20, 2011 at 4:12 pm

She should put review on yelp if she’s not happy


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: