Human Safety

When should I not accept a pet upon delivery?

Be wary if a Pet Owner arrives with their pet but does not have all that their pet will need for their stay.  For example, if three of the following five are true then the Pet Owner may have an ulterior motive:

  • Does not provide any bedding
  • Has not provided a microchip number
  • Does not have enough food for their stay
  • Is not wearing a collar or ID tags
  • Seems to be in a hurry to leave (though this can apply to many Pet Owners who have places to be by a certain time)

Whilst in most cases the lack of items is just an oversight by the Pet Owner there is a chance they may be trying to abandon their pet with you. They may feel that it is cheaper to pay for a small booking for a few days than to pay surrender fees at an animal welfare organisation.

It is advisable to pre-inform the Pet Owner that they must bring everything for their pet. Let them know a few days before the start of the booking. If the Pet Owner then arrives without the necessities you may decide not to accept the pet until they have provided the items.

By ensuring your reminder correspondence is done through the “Don’t Fret Pet!” Chat function you will have a trail of your conversations as proof that the Pet Owner was informed.

Why do Pet Owners need to upload a profile photo?

Having a face to the name helps to create a sense of security and trust. This goes both ways for the Pet Services Provider and for the Pet Owner. ‘Seeing’ who you are dealing with also helps to make it a more personal arrangement.

If you receive a Booking or find a Job where the Pet Owner has not uploaded a profile photo of themselves or of their pet please let us know immediately at support@dontfretpet.com.au.

How do I ensure my own safety?

It is important for you to ensure your own safety and sanity.  Here are some tips to help you:

  1. Be sure you are covered by insurance

By making sure all Bookings and Jobs are arranged and paid for through the “Don’t Fret Pet!” portal you can then feel safe that you are covered by our insurance.  The nicest Pet Owner can turn into a very different person if something happens to their pet and being sued can cost you a lot of money if you aren’t covered by insurance.

  1. Check the Pet Owner profile photo

If you receive a Booking or find a Job where the Pet Owner has not uploaded a clear profile photo of themselves don’t meet with them and let us know immediately at support@dontfretpet.com.au.

  1. Look at the pet’s profile

After reading the details of the Booking/Job and the pet profile if something doesn’t feel right don’t accept it. Trust your gut intuition. Don’t accept Bookings or Jobs for pets you are not experienced with.

  1. Ensure your property is ready

Make sure you have gone all over your property – gates, fences, inside etc to ensure it is appropriately safe and secure for the kind of pet you are caring for.  Having a pet escape is a very stressful experience so taking these steps reduces the likelihood of this happening.

  1. Protect yourself

If you are having a Meet & Greet be sure to let family or friends know the details. Better still, have one of them there with you for the Meet & Greet.

  1. Get all the information before the Pet Owner leaves

Be sure to create a checklist of information you will need from the Pet Owner before they are gone. You may not be able to contact them once they are away. You will need to ensure you have emergency contact numbers for the Pet Owner and for someone not travelling with them as well as their vet’s contact details. Know the dietary requirements – what, how much and when. What is the pet’s usual routine. Too late finding out they need to be fed at 10am if you leave for work at 9!

When should I say no to a booking?

There will be some bookings that just don’t feel right and saying “no” to these bookings can be very difficult. Sometimes you just need to do that so that you enjoy your business and reduce the amount of stress you may experience.

Meet & Greets are very important for both Pet Sitters and House Sitters.

Pet Sitters who are boarding pets in their home need to consider the following and should decline the Booking/Job if it doesn’t feel like it will work for you:

  • You will have the pet living in your home so the Meet & Greet is a critical time to assess whether or not the pet will fit into your household. Make sure it is friendly and gets on with your pets.  If not, say no.
  • Does the pet need more of your time than you have available? If not, say no. It is best not to take on a pet who needs more care than you are able to provide.  (It is a good idea to find out about how much of your time the pet will require before the Meet & Greet as it could save both you and the Pet Owner doing a Meet & Greet.)
  • If it is a dog that needs walking, can you walk this dog? If you feel that you could not safely walk this dog, say no.

Home Visit Pet Sitters need to consider the following and should decline the Booking/Job if it doesn’t feel like it will work for you:

  • Would you feel safe visiting this neighbourhood at the times required? If not, say no.
  • Do you feel safe around these pets? If not, say no.
  • If it is a dog that needs walking, can you walk this dog? If you feel that you could not safely walk this dog, say no.

House Sitters need to consider the following and should decline the Booking/Job if it doesn’t feel like it will work for you:

  • Would you feel safe living in this neighbourhood? If not, say no.
  • Does the house feel safe? If not, say no.
  • Is the cleanliness of the house satisfactory? If not, say no.
  • Do you feel safe around the pets you will be caring for? If not, say no.
  • If it is a dog that needs walking, can you walk this dog? If you feel that you could not safely walk this dog, say no.

What dog breeds are not accepted on “DON’T FRET PET!”?

Any restricted dog or dog that has been declared as dangerous or menacing can not be accepted for any service via “Don’t Fret Pet!” as they are high risk and would not be covered by insurance.  If you accept a restricted dog you would be taking a great risk and would not be covered by insurance.  Please advise us immediately at support@dontfretpet.com.au if you see a Booking or Job for a restricted dog.

The following breeds of dogs, including those that substantially meet the description of these breeds, are not accepted for any service on “Don’t Fret Pet!” as, under the Federal Customs Act 1901, they are classed as restricted.  The only exception is training and that is totally up to the trainer if they choose to work with that breed and they would need to be sure that their own insurance will cover them as our insurance will not cover these breeds.  If you see a Job posted or receive a Booking enquiry and a dog looks like any of these breeds, please let us know at support@dontfretpet.com.au.

  • American Pit-Bull Terrier
  • American Pit-Bull Terrier types
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Perro de Presa Canario or Presa Canario

 

Are there any Pet Owners “DON’T FRET PET!” won’t accept?

The safety of our Pet Service Providers is paramount and, to this end, not everyone can make Bookings or post Jobs on the portal.

If a Pet Owner does not wish to abide by the requirements of registering as a Pet Owner on the “Don’t Fret Pet!” portal they will not be allowed to proceed.

This includes ensuring a clear profile picture of the Pet Owner and their pets are uploaded. If their pets are classed as unsuitable or unacceptable then they won’t be accepted. See ‘What dog breeds are not accepted on “Don’t Fret Pet!”?’ in this Human Safety section.

If a Pet Owner is reported to us as:

  • using the Portal for any other purpose than it is intended for they will be removed – e.g. inappropriate conversations, sexual harassment etc
  • having a home that is unsuitable for a Pet Service Provider to visit or house sit e.g. filthy or in a high crime area making it unsafe
  • refusing to upload a clear profile photo
  • approaching you to do the work for a cash payment which endangers you as you are then not covered by insurance
  • owning an aggressive dog. Should the pre-visit show an otherwise unknown/not declared aggressive pet this Pet Owner will no longer be able to make bookings
  • providing misleading information about their pets or their pets’ requirements causing issues for the Pet Service Provider
  • having a pet that is very destructive

Please advise our support team at support@dontfretpet.com.au if you encounter any Pet Owners who fit any of the above.

What are some tips on how to operate a safe and enjoyable business?

Pet Boarding in your home

If you are minding pets in your own home it is important that you operate your business safely for you, other members of your household and any visiting pet.

  1. Pet Owner profiles – only meet with Pet Owners who have a clear profile photo.
  2. Choosing pets to mind – only accept bookings for pets with which you have experience otherwise you could find yourself in a situation where you are not able to effectively control the pet or could cause illness or injury if you don’t know how to care for the pet.
  3. Meet & Greet safety – let a family member, friend or neighbour know that you will be having someone come to your home and what time you are expecting them and approximately how long you expect them to stay. Arrange to call your contact after the Pet Owner leaves.
  4. Get details about the pet – in order to do the best possible job when caring for pets it is your responsibility to ensure that you get the following information from Pet Owners – emergency contact numbers for both the Pet Owner and a friend/relative who is not travelling with them, feeding details, vet contact number and address and details about the pet’s routine.
  5. Payments – so that you are covered with insurance make sure that you receive your payment through the “Don’t Fret Pet!” payment system.
  6. Learn as much as possible– so that you can provide the best care possible and have many repeat clients read as much of the information we provide as possible.
  7. Pet ID– ensure that the pet has a tag attached with your contact number – just in case!

 

Home Visits and House Sitting

If you are visiting pets in their own home you need to be aware of your own safety in what is initially a strange environment for you.  Many of these also apply to House Sitters.

  1. Pet Owner profiles – only agree to meet Pet Owners who have a clear profile picture.

 

  1. Meet & Greet Safety
  • When agreeing to meet the Pet Owner for the initial Meet & Greet, try and organise the meeting during daylight hours. Let a friend or family member know where you are going and your expected time of return.  Keep your mobile on you and turned on.
  • Upon your arrival at the Pet Owner’s home take note of your surrounds – are there a large number of cars parked on the property (this could indicate many unknown people in the house)?  When the door is opened by the Pet Owner take note of the Pet Owner’s demeanour and how you feel.  If you have ANY doubts as to your safety do not enter the house.  Make an excuse and leave promptly (you could say, for example, ‘sorry, I have left my keys/phone in the car and I will just go and get them/it’ and then drive away.  You would, of course, then immediately call the Pet Owner, apologise for leaving and give them an excuse).
  • Upon entering the home, is the home reasonably neat and tidy or is there clutter everywhere that could possibly be a tripping hazard for yourself or even dangerous to the pets?
  • Are the pets calm and appear contented, clean and well looked after?
  • Have your prepared pet questions ready and make sure the Pet Owner is willing to openly and honestly give you all the details of their pets’ needs – you need to know now if a pet might be aggressive to you as you are on their property.
  • When you meet each of the pets you will be minding make sure that you feel confident in your ability and skill level to be able to safely manage the pet.
  • Are you comfortable in the security features of the house for when you will be visiting the property and pets on your own? Ascertain that during the period of your visits no one else will have access to the home and, if there is the potential of someone else being there, you need to meet them before your home visits commence to make sure you are comfortable with that person.
  1. Arriving for your Home Visits/House Sitting
  • Before leaving your vehicle have a quick scan of the property and make sure that all appears ‘normal’.
  • Before entering the house have a walk around the front of the house looking for signs of attempted break-ins or damage to doors or windows. If there is damage, contact the police and do not enter unless directed to do so.
  • If everything appears normal, upon entering the home call out the pets’ names in a confident and happy manner so that, if you are visiting a dog that may be protective of his home, he will remember your smell and voice from the Meet & Greet.
  • If, upon entering the home, you feel that something is not quite right in regards to your safety, do not proceed.
  • If you and the Pet Owner have agreed for you to leave lights on/off or change which blinds and curtains are open and closed take note when you make the change so you know what to expect on your arrival for the next visit.

If you are not totally comfortable with the proposed Home Visit/House Sitting Pet Owner and/or their environment, say no to the booking. Your safety is paramount. See information on Saying No To Bookings or Jobs.

 

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