|Providing pet-sitting services in Newcastle for 25 years. Estd.1992 |
|POSTAL: Paws Indoors, Garden Village News, Gosforth, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE3 5BS |
T: Office 0191 2844131 Txt: 07940 339684
A PET VISIT
This is a precis of the section of our Visitors Handbook on the detailed subject of pet-visiting. (I may have added a few anecdotes..)
Plan your routine for visiting.
At the end of each day check your Diary to find out when your first morning visit is due, and plan the next round of visits. Work out how much time will be involved so that you can plan your day.
A Visitor's round might consist of visits to a variety of animals, possibly a first and/or last visit of a booking, appointments to collect or return keys and to take bookings.
Lay out all of the keys and paperwork you are going to need to take with you.
Before you leave make sure that you have dealt with any messages. You may discover that a client has returned home early. Secure all paperwork and keys.
(As you might appreciate, there is rather a lot to cover here. For the website I have reduced it to a short aide-memoir..)
OK so you have arrived. Check that the animals have been correctly & securely confined.
Carry out routine animal-care checks..
Refer to your Instruction Sheet and pay particular attention to any medical or behavioural conditions that have been highlighted.
Note the greeting you receive.
Look for changes in regular behaviour.
Look around for evidence of stress related behaviour.
Check their gait.
Check their physical appearance.
Check for lumps, bumps, scratches & infestation.
Check the food and water.
Note changes in appetite.
Check stools where possible.
Clean out any litter trays food bowls etc.
Look around for any soiling, sickness.
Look for fur clumps (are two cats fighting?)
Wash your hands.
Feed, groom and exercise in accordance with the Instruction Sheet.
Always leave down fresh water.
Where specified, use the correct utensils for feeding and cleaning.
Check and where necessary clean and tidy any bedding.
Check the operation of mechanical items such as cat-flaps, (where used, ensure that cats have not lost their magnetic collars), check timed feeders.
Carry out our standard property checks..
Always refer to your Instruction Sheet.
Check inside the property for signs of disturbance.
Check for any weather damage - inside & out.
Check unstable utilities such as heating or electrical units fitted with timers.
Check for any damage caused by animals.
Check for smells.
Note the temperature of the property.
Where another person has had authorised entry to the property since your last visit you will also need to carry out many of the additional checks listed under First Visits.
Carry out all applicable crime deterrent activities (refer to your Instruction Sheet).
Always close curtains at the end of the visit so that at least 15 minutes have passed since you possibly drew attention on entering the property.
Check your Instruction Sheet for and carry out, any irregular maintenance activities as required such as watering plants.
Generally tidy up any mess you have made, put back any toys/chews/leads/towels etc., clear off counter tops and sinks, make sure all unused food, half used tins are hygienically secured out of the way.
Dispose of rubbish sensibly. Food has been down all day. Make sure there are no flies eggs in it. If there are then in a few days you could have a bin crawling with maggots! Bag it securely.
Wash your hands.
Now you can begin to settle the animal(s) and prepare them for whatever confinement is required.
Complete your Report if you are writing one. Doing this at the end of the visit will help unsettled animals to calm down and to recognise that the visit is coming to an end.
Leave the report at the property ready for your next visit or to be seen by any other person who has authority to enter the property.
Check that you have picked up all keys and paperwork.
Make a final check of any external doors you have used.
Make your 'goodbyes' brief and formal to mark the end of the visit, leave any treats as required.
Ensure all internal doors are left as per the Instruction Sheet and/or that all animals are correctly confined.
Set any alarm system as instructed and leave, securing the property.
Wait at the exit door to hear that the alarm has set properly.
Look back at the property - at curtains/lights etc. is everything as it should be?
(There are additional activities, [and indeed hazards!] involved in the first visit of a booking.)
Be particularly careful on your first visit - until you are familiar with the layout of the house treat it like a minefield full of potential disasters! When you took the Booking you should have checked with the client, anything that may cause you a problem during your visits. The client may not always think to tell you about them.
Here, at our expense, are some things we weren't told about..
That the garage door may swing shut behind you and lock you in.
That the shelf holding the plants above the TV is loose and may come away from the wall.
That there is a pot under the bath which catches the leak from a broken tap. It needs emptying every few days.
That we have changed the alarm code/front door lock.
That the indoor swimming pool occasionally floods.
That our son may turn up.
That the utility-room cold tap does not switch off.
That an incredible number of door handles will come away in your hand.
That, and I've mentioned this before and although it is not quite relevant it is memorable, we are having a piano delivered.
and so on.. I'm embarrassing myself. I hope you get the point.
Carry out additional Property Checks on a First Visit:
Freezers, if in use are switched on, working and their doors are fully closed.
Refrigerators, if in use, are switched on and any goods which are likely to perish are disposed of. Where they have been emptied and switched off leave the door slightly ajar, (though not so that it is obvious if seen through a window)!
Look for potential hazards such as irons that have been left switched on or items that have been left in precarious places.
Check light switches and be sure you know what a switch is for before using it.
Fit and check the operation of any security timers as per your Instruction Sheet.
Check all external doors are secure.
Check all windows are secure.
Ensure that the client has not left any obvious visible signs that they are away.
People vary in ways of cleanliness, you are not there to judge your client, nor are you there as the cleaner, however you may have to do some clearing up in order to carry out your work effectively.
Look for any notes that the client might have left for you, (such notes should be kept with your Instruction Sheet as amendments or additional information).
Check that the details on your Instruction Sheet are correct and that everything is where it should be.
Check that there is enough pet food/cat litter to last the period.
IMPORTANT: you must call the office as soon as possible following this first visit to confirm that you have begun your visits.
(Here are some additional things to do on the Last Visit of a booking.)
Consider how your clients might be feeling when they get home, have they had a long journey? Are they likely to be rather tired and worn out?
This might be an opportunity to do something special. You could for example leave fresh milk - if so, leave a note saying that the milk is fresh [giving the date]). Or buy in some extra pet food if it has run out - though you should charge for this.
Generally make sure you leave the property at least as clean and tidy as it was on your first visit.
Put fresh bin liners out.
Ensure that all pet bedding, cages or regular 'animal resting places' are cleaned, brushed down or vacuumed.
Sort and neatly stack any mail.
Dispose of any withered-looking cut flowers.
Remove any items that you have loaned to the client such as timers and identification tags.
Read over your report to check that it makes sense and to remind yourself of any notable incidents.
Leave a message to your client (or to whoever is taking over from you) to call Paws Indoors and let the office know that they 'are home' or 'have taken over'.
© 2017 Paws Indoors