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Pet sitting general

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I had decided to take it the next step and start a small pet sitting service in my area now that I have the space to do so in my home. Most of the animals I take in are pretty alright. Maybe some social or separation anxiety, chewing, hyper/hypo activity, potty issues, ext. But that I can work with. But I can't fucking deal with these aggressive assholes and their lying owners. I do my best to 'meet n' greet' new cats and dogs (especially the dogs) with my dog and myself, but 1 out of 5 can't make it to a scheduled meet time. Normally its alright, introduction is a bit more stressful but alright. However I've had a couple of the worst fucking dogs imaginable.

If during a meet and greet a dog acts really off or aggressive I tell the owner that he'll need a kennel over what I can give. But If I can't meet the dog beforehand I get maybe a 10 minute window at drop off to evaluate them, and the owners always go on the same shpeel. "Oh don't worry they're trained. They are good. They love to play!". Then these little hell spawns are territorial, destructive and aggressive as fuck. One literally ate through a baby gate I installed just to attack my dog.

I'm about to make meet n' greets mandatory for all new clients. And talk to my aunt (who's a lawyer) about what kind of paperwork I can get for new clients to sign saying that any damages done by their pet are their responsibility and that If the animal is overtly aggressive I reserve the right to terminate and service and hand the pet to a kennel at the owners expense.

Any advice I could get would be great.

Also hell spawn stories would be nice.
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>>2409376
>I'm about to make meet n' greets mandatory for all new clients. And talk to my aunt (who's a lawyer) about what kind of paperwork I can get for new clients to sign saying that any damages done by their pet are their responsibility and that If the animal is overtly aggressive I reserve the right to terminate and service and hand the pet to a kennel at the owners expense.

This is what you should have done first. You should have researched more about what petsitting and kennel professionals do before you started your business, but it is what it is.

You also need to require vaccinated pets (with records!) only. Having a diseased pet around your home and yard, leaving their dander, their saliva, their piss, etc. everywhere is a huge liability to the next pet AND your dog, since you mentioned you have a dog. Even if your dog is vaccinated, there's always the slightest chance he can get whatever's going around anyway.

You should probably also look into getting some insurance. You sure are protective of your own property, but what about your clients'? What happens if a pet is injured on your watch? What happens if your dog takes a particular disliking to a client's and attacks it (no, "my dog wouldn't do that" is not an answer in the business world)? What happens if the client's dog comes back home sick or pregnant because you happened to have another dog in the house that wasn't vaccinated or neutered? Protect yourself. You can act like having the client sign a contract releasing you from any responsibility will be a blanket answer, but the reality is a judge can still find it void if you were negligent enough.
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>>2409390
I have my clients send me there vet info (shots, meds, everything). But generally thats scanned and sent through an email. I have insurance for my dog and my house. I never have more than one dog or cat at a time (unless the client had multiply pets for em to watch) and my dog's fixed so pregnant animals aren't and issue. I have room barriers set up just in case there is some minor issue.

I knew I should have made meet's mandatory, but I got lenient with a few people when after the initial contact made (exchanging medical info, behaviors, ext) they said they couldn't go to the meet because it conflicted with work or some shit. Which is my fault and why I'm correcting it.

The big reason why I want the Boarding contract is because I have these people state in the contact emails that there are no behavior issues. Then bring me dogs I want to call animal control on.
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My mother's pet sitting business is over 25 years old and I have about 8 years of part time experience working as a pet sitter for her so I know a lot about the business.

I can answer any questions you have specifically to the best of my ability but we don't run a kennel and we never have. You should make it very apparent to all potential clients whether you are a pet sitting service or a kennel service because those are two different things. People rarely do both.

We don't take in animals. We drive out to people's houses and take care of the animals in their own home. You may want to look into that otherwise a home kennel service might make your insurance payments and stuff higher if you go totally legit. You could charge more tho but that's one of our selling points.

Quick tips I can think of right off the bat are we have a phrase in our family it's "a loose key is a lost key". If you leave a faucet on or something while you're at the client's house leave your car keys on the faucet so you cant forget to turn it off. Also we do a face-to-face meetup at the client's home to meet them and the animal. We turn down hyper aggressive dogs but it's very rare. Some jobs we never see the cat at all I don't even know what the cat looks like and I've been to a couple people's homes several dozens of times.

Horror stories would probably be cats getting out and jumping the fence then getting mauled by the neighbor's dog, all while the owner was on vacation. That's happened twice in 25 years. I can give more details on that too my mother was devastated.
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>>2409463
I'm not comfortable staying at peoples homes. And only offer home visits to repeat clients I'm comfortable with. Had bad experiences in the past. Most cat owners just ask me to swing by and feed/change the water. Maybe scoop the litter box. Swat around a feather. Like 30-40 mins tops. But I'm not confrotable staying very long in someone's house. I pretty much have my service set up like a doggy daycare. They have access to most of the house, the yard. All supervised. The parts they have access to are pet proofed. But the whole point of my service is to make it homey and comfortable. They know I'm not a kennel. I tell them I'm not a kennel.

I am hoping to find better screening methods, or at least ways to hold owners responsible for their psycho dogs. The most I can do now if I end up with one is minimize the damage and isolate.
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>>2409473
I'm sure you are aware but keeping the pets in your own house places a lot of the liability on you. If the pets break something (which you definitely sound like you are trying to control for) then not as much liability can be placed on the client just because they have a rambunctious animal as a pet.

I'm not going to try to convince you to change your business model here but just know that the way we sell ourselves is to say that we are cheaper than a kennel (1-2 visits/day at $20-25/visit rather than ~$50/day in a kennel) while also helping the pet feel more comfortable by being in its home environment.

To me, having the pet be in a place it knows really well is much more likely to keep it calm than if it's in a home it doesn't, regardless of whether or not it knows the people taking care of it.

A lot of this is based around how much liability you want to take on yourself. If you can keep everything in order and don't have much in the way of liability then there's not as much to worry about. Also the overhead on a state and federally legal kennel is going to be higher which is something to keep in mind, hence the higher charges.
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