7 Tips for your 'Welcome Woof'
As a dog owner, a question that might pop into your head is
Why would I leave my dog with a stranger?
Well the answer is, with BorrowMyDoggy, you won’t be!
BorrowMyDoggy takes safety very seriously, and in addition to our verification checks that all BorrowMyDoggy premium owners and borrowers have to pass through before any messaging or borrowing, it’s really important that owners, borrowers and of course dogs, get to know each other before any borrowing.
Just as you would with, for example, a babysitter, kennels or a dog walker, you should always build up a relationship and make sure everyone is happy!
The first step towards building this relationship is what we call the ‘Welcome Woof’ - a meet and greet for the owner, borrower, and dog to get to know each other.
Often people meet several times before the borrower takes care of the dog alone, and sometimes even do house visits, which is easy since matches are local.
So how do you get the most from a ‘Welcome Woof’?
Get ready for your normal walk when meeting a borrower for the first time. Bring your dog’s lead, poo bags, treats, toys… whatever is normal for you and your pooch.
Be patient and let your dog lead
Every dog is different, so some might see a new face and get very excited, some might take a little longer to come round. But always let your dog take the lead in deciding when or if they want to engage with a potential borrower, or if a borrower is a good match for them.
It’s important to ask the borrower lots of questions, so you can get to know them. Questions should include:
- Have they owned or borrowed a dog before?
- Do they have any experience with this size of dog or breed?
- Why did they join BorrowMyDoggy?
- What are they looking for from the experience?
- What times and days are they available to potentially help you out? How long would they be able to help out during these times?
Tell them all about your pooch
Every dog is different, and it’s really helpful to borrowers to know and understand what makes your pooch the individual they are.
- For example if your dog doesn’t like other dogs or strangers, that is really important to tell a borrower.
- If your dog has dislikes, like being picked up, loud noises, busy roads etc then give your borrower this information.
- Borrowers love to learn more about your pup and telling them all about your dog’s past is really helpful. Like is your dog a rescue dog, or do they have separation anxiety, and you can discuss further if there’s anything specific you do for these things.
- A very important discussion is around off-lead walking. If you and the borrower are comfortable with the dog being walked off lead when they are with the borrower you must both sign BorrowMyDoggy’s off-lead consent form before this is allowed.
- Don’t forget to tell your borrower if your dog likes to maybe investigate strangers’ picnics, roll in fox poo, steal socks etc, all very important things to know when spending time with your pooch.
- Health issues should be discussed too. It’s important your borrower knows if for example, your dog has any food allergies, has issues with hearing or vision, or if they have any conditions like diabetes or epilepsy. This will be in your Doggy Info sheet, but it’s always good to chat it through as well!
After you’ve met
You’ve met, had a walk, asked your questions and started to get to know each other. So what happens next?
- Reach out to the borrower and let them know if you’re interested in potentially having them look after your pup. Don’t be afraid to let your borrower know if you don’t think they’re the right fit for you and your dog. It’s so important you are both comfortable.
- Keep meeting until the borrower and your dog are happy and relaxed with one another. Make sure your dog is responding to the borrower’s commands and the borrower is comfortable with handling your pooch.
- Make sure to share your dog’s Doggy Info sheet with your borrower
Here's a quick video with 7 tips to ensure your ‘Welcome Woof’ runs as smoothly as possible.
To find your dog a loving dog sitter for extra walks, exercise and attention, sign up and begin messaging pawtential matches in your area.
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