You’ve been on a plane for six hours. All you want to do is get to your hotel and relax.
But then you take your phone off of airplane mode. There are eight missed calls and texts from your pet sitter.
She doesn’t know which bottle of medication in your fridge is the one your dog is currently getting. And your note only says, “Give medication in fridge with dinner.”
It’s nine o’clock at night. You call her back desperately, knowing you’ve missed your dog’s dinner time by hours. And you’re annoyed with yourself for not thinking your note through more clearly. You know there are three prescription bottles in the fridge – and one should have been thrown out six months ago.
What a great way to start your vacation: frustrated and annoyed.
Situations Like the Above are Why We Require This
At NCC, before we take on any new pet sitting or dog walking client, we schedule a meet-and-greet at your house. There are several reasons why we do this, and we’ll get to those below.
But if you’re considering a pet sitter or dog walker who doesn’t do meet-and-greets (or even tells you a meet-and-greet is unnecessary), think about the scenario above. A meet-and-greet probably would have prevented it.
A Meet-and-Greet is Exactly That
During the meet-and-greet, you can put a face to the name of at least the person you’re trusting with your pet and home. We don’t know about you, but that always makes us more comfortable when hiring a service provider.
At our meet-and-greets, you meet the owner Nikki as well as your primary pet sitter or walker. If you prefer, we can also ask your backup sitter/walker to join in.
It also gives you a chance to see that your pets get along with your new sitter or walker. Sometimes pets and people don’t “click.” It’s better to find out now so we can find you a new primary than during the first visit when the sitter has to call you because your dog is growling in a corner.
Lower the Risk of Misunderstandings
The opening scenario happened because the owner knows the routine. Open the refrigerator, grab the right bottle, ignore the others. The owner probably doesn’t even notice the other two prescription bottles.
But if there had been a meet-and-greet, the sitter would have had the opportunity to ask to see all medications and where they are stored.
These are the details pet sitters and dog walkers should ask about during a meet-and-greet:
- Routines – does your dog go out of the front door or the back door?
- Equipment – is there a specific collar or harness you use only for walks?
- Food/treats – when, where, and how often is your pet fed? Do your pets have dietary restrictions for treats?
With a proper meet-and-greet, you don’t need to remember to write it all down the day before you leave. The sitter/walker can ask specific questions and get clarification to take her own notes – and when you leave your instructions, you’ll have the details fresh in your mind.
Plus, the more questions your sitter/walkers asks now, the fewer you’ll receive during your trip. More time relaxing for you!
A More Efficient Process
A meet-and-greet also makes working with a pet sitter or dog walker simpler. Paperwork can be filled out during the visit – no more emailing or faxing back and forth.
And you can hand over keys right there. No having to swing by an office to drop off the keys before you leave. We don’t allow you to leave your keys under a flower pot, either. That’s a liability for you and us – not to mention there’s always the risk you’ll forget to leave a set at all.
Put the Focus Back on Your Trip
A well-planned meet-and-greet gets you better prepared for your trip. After yours is done, you’ll be amazed by the little details you don’t think of when you’re doing them.