Here at Kings & Queens Pet Sitting our #1 goal is to ensure your pets, AKA kids, are happy and comfortable. Being in their own environment and on their normal routine is ideal, but if they aren’t comfortable with the people caring for them for whatever reason then it won’t really matter where they are.
That is why it is so important to us that we make sure we are the right fit for your family during the consultation. If your dog is shy around strangers or is fearful (barks, hides, runs around but doesn’t come near strangers) then an introductory visit is mandatory. Bear (pictured above) was sweet during the consultation, but client said he needed to warm up to strangers. We had to do an introductory visit and he was completely different than he was during the consultation; barking and running from us. By the end of our visit he loved us!
What is an introductory visit?
An introductory visit is set up prior to your trip or the start date of your services. We come over to see how they react to just us and see if we can get them to warm up to us. You can go to the store, to a neighbors, or anywhere to be out of the house for a little bit. We suggest about an hour.
The reason why you need to be out of the house is because our pets act differently around us. They will either be territorial and act fearful or aggressive at the consultation or they may feel at ease that mom and dad is home with these strangers and let us pet them or smell us. You know your pet best and if you have had trouble in the past with your pets warming up to someone please let us know.
During this visit we work on building trust with them. Our staff is trained in animal behavior and are able to use methods allowing us to gain their trust rather than demanding it.
Typically what this visit looks like is sitting/laying on the ground while they sniff around or play, tossing treats to them and praising them, talking to them, or going for a walk. We have been extremely successful with gaining trust with fearful dogs. However, if we find that your dog is having trouble warming up to us on this visit we may suggest some more time before you leave or refer you to other options.
Why do I need an introductory visit?
During the consultation we will answer any questions you may have and ask a few questions to get a better understanding of your pets. When we assess your pets at that time we will be able to determine how fearful they are. Sometimes they are slow to come to us and may smell our hand and other times they may hide behind furniture or you the entire time.
If we are not able to pet them at the consultation, you warned us they take time to warm up to strangers, or you have never left them in the care of someone else before, we recommend an introductory visit.
If you misinform us of your dogs behavior with strangers you may cause undue stress on your dog and can put them and our sitters in danger. Sometimes dogs will be fine with us on the consultation, but if you are not there when we come they can become aggressive. If you go out of town and your pets aren’t used to us they may not eat, go outside, and they will constantly be stressed and scared. That is not what we want.
When we care for our client’s pets we make sure they go potty, eat, and monitor their behavior, and if they are scared this makes it very difficult. We are more concerned about your pet’s well being than we are about gaining a new client.
Please don’t leave your pets scared. We will be more than happy to refer you to a trainer, other companies, and options to help calm your pet’s fears. This is why it is so important to not wait until the last minute to find a pet sitter.
Was this article helpful? Do you have a fearful pet and need help? Contact us and we will be more than happy to guide you in the right direction.