Every pet sitting visit should include this
Don't forget to take a little time for this in every pet visit
I've said it before and I'll say it again: "There's very little actual 'sitting' in pet sitting." The typical pet sitting visit, usually around 30 minutes long on average, includes many individual tasks and responsibilities that must be completed.
A typical pet visit, especially if there are multiple pets in a home, includes everything from litter box cleaning, dog walking, food prep and feeding, medication administration, playtime, clean up, and could also include plant watering, mail retrieval, and other things (see previous blog posts on what is included in a pet visit). It's a busy time.
There is something that I always made it a point to do that came very naturally for me. So natural in fact, that I don't think I've made a specific mention of it in any of my blog posts, and it should be mentioned.
Somewhere in the pet sitting visit, it is important to just stop and BE with the pet(s). By that I mean, no activity, but take a few moments to SIT on the floor (or in the yard) and BE STILL. In that couple of minutes allow some silence or soft chatting. Get a sense of the "emotional temperature" of the pet. For me, most of the time the best time for this seemed to be just before the end of the visit after the tasks are complete.
Take some QUIET MOMENTS to cuddle with the pet - if the pet is a cuddler, or talk softly, make eye contact, pet them, give a little pet massage, and let the pets know that you really love them and that coming to their house was not just a "job". This is the time to remember why you got into pet sitting in the first place - because you LOVE pets and spending time with them.
So after all pet care duties are complete, sit down, and focus on the most important part of the pet visit - sharing a little LOVE AND ATTENTION. Pets pick up vibes from us. We all know that. This is a great way to BOND with the pet and build a great relationship. Plus it also REDUCES STRESS for both the sitter and the pet so it is a win-win situation.
Just a short blog this week - the week of Thanksgiving - but an important one just the same.
Added note: If you are a pet owner and have a pet sitter this week (some of you are going away despite Covid), please make it a point to say thank you to your sitter because they often change around their personal holiday plans to take care of everyone's precious pets.