Are You Expected to Care for Pets?
With the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States of America approaching this Tuesday there is much talk about what type of dog Barack Obama will get his daughters Malia and Sasha when they move into the White House.
Pet-sitting can be a pet-peeve (no pun intended) for some nannies and au pairs.
For example, Katie Belinda, a nanny working in Atlanta, Georgia told Be the Best Nanny Monthly Guide, http://www.bestnannynewsletter.com/ “I don’t like pets. I just don’t accept nanny jobs at homes that own any large pets.”
Sandra McDaniels, a live-in nanny working in Westport, Connecticut explains, “I am allergic to cats and dogs so I cannot work for a family that owns a cat or dog. I don’t like other pets but as long as I am not responsible for caring for them then I can work in the household.”
MaryAnne Hudson, a household manager in Morristown, New Jersey explains, “I feel I ought to be compensated more if a family I work for has a dog. Whenever the parents have said I won’t be responsible for caring for the dog that was far from the truth. Dogs are harder to care for than the children. I don’t mind cats or smaller animals. But, I have no interest in walking dogs or cleaning litter boxes.”
Melissa Havasua, a nanny that works in San Diego, California says, “When the parents I worked for bought a puppy and expected me to train it I asked for extra money for the extra work. The parents laughed. I didn’t agree to be a pet-sitter. I was hired to be a childcare provider. So, I gave two-weeks notice.”
Using a simple pet-sitting contract can be helpful when parents ask nannies or au pairs to pet-sit.
For example, if the family will be traveling on vacation the nanny or au pair should create a separate pet-sitting work agreement that includes essential responsibilities for the job. If the au pair or nanny cannot perform the pet-sitting duties the parents can then use the work agreement when they hire another pet-sitter as well.
Information to Include in a Pet-Sitting Contract:
- Emergency phone number where the family can be reached in case of emergency.
- Veterinarian phone number.
- Pet-sitter back up person in case of emergency.
- List of family, friends, or neighbors that have a key to the house.
- Detailed history of each pet.
- Where family buys pet food and supplies.
- What food to serve each pet, at what time, and the amount of food.
- Detailed list of any medications required. When, how much, and what type of medicine should be given to each pet.
- Which treats the pets are allowed to have and at what times.
- Fees per walk and length of each walk (for example half hour walk).
Obama promises that he will buy a dog for his kids. Does the family you work for have a dog? Have you experienced any issues working with pets?