When would you turn down a pet sitting job?

Four Good Reasons why you can turn down a pet sitting job


Pet sitters are fantastic at many things—from offering trusted advice on pet-care issues to finding unique ways to make pet owners still feel connected with their pets while they are away. But, there’s one skill that many pet sitters & dog walkers still struggle with: Saying “No.”

We know that many pet sitters hold back from enforcing a cancellation policy with a client who  forgets to let you know he’s made other arrangements, to the client who’s technically no longer in your service area but you keep sitting for anyway, perhaps you are finding that saying “no” is not as easy as one might think.

While it may be easy to refer a pet owner to another pet sitter if your schedule is booked or they are outside of your service area, there are other times that turning down clients can be more difficult. Professional pet sitters’ dedication to the pets, commitment to their clients, desire to grow their client base and huge hearts may sometimes result in putting up with a lot more than they should. But, it’s important to realize that sometimes saying “no” is a must—not just to reduce your stress level, but also to keep you safe as you perform your day-to-day pet-sitting assignments.

The results below were taken from a survey conducted with pet sitters, these are four top situations that make pet sitters feel unsafe and when a pet sitter should say NO.

In reverse order

4:  Aggressive dogs:  18% of pet sitters responding to the survey indicated that an aggressive dog had been reason to consider a job too unsafe.

One pet sitter described a situation she had encountered: “We had a client who had a dog that was very protective of their property. On a walk the dog was fine. At home, however, it was aggressive even when given treats. I was on edge the whole time I was around it.  This situation can only lead to catastrophe and possibly injury. We did not take the job and suggested she contacted a dog behaviourist .”

3. Filthy home/client was a hoarder: 22% of pet sitters responding to the survey shared that they felt unsafe or uncomfortable with a pet-sitting assignment when the client’s home was filthy, or when the client was a hoarder.

2. “Creepy” client: 23% of the pet sitters who completed the survey indicated that they had felt unsafe or uncomfortable with a pet-sitting assignment because they simply did not feel comfortable with the client—even if they could not exactly put their finger on what made them feel so uncomfortable.

Pet sitters shared examples of potential clients who did not make eye contact or seemed overly nervous, made flirtatious or sexual comments and seemed more interested in asking detailed personal questions about the pet sitter instead of their pet-sitting services.

1. Unsafe neighbourhood:  38% of pet sitters completing the survey listed a potential client’s neighbourhood as a reason they would feel to unsafe or uncomfortable to take the pet-sitting assignment.  This included homes in neighbourhoods that were considered unsafe, as well as clients with homes that were too secluded.

Have you ever had to turn down a job for one of these reasons?

If so, how did you tell the pet owner you were not able to take the assignment? Are there other reasons you have turned down a potential pet-sitting assignment? Share your experiences with us.

Other reasons that were expressed were: clients that would not pay until after the job was completed, large dogs that pull very hard on a lead, very sick dogs or not comfortable giving medication for example injections.

You can get lots of help, advice and guidance on all kinds of pet sitting and dog walking problems from

Dog showing aggression

This is a dog that should be muzzled when on walks

so why not join today

Speak Your Mind Cancel reply