You've had a successful Meet-n-Greet. The dog was well-behaved and got along with your pet. You accepted the booking and are ready to start the Vacay. Right?
The start of a Vacay - from the first minutes - is a critical time for you to prove to your Guests (both human and furry) that you'll provide safe, quality care. Here are 3 things you should do at the start of every Vacay to calm nerves and reinforce trust with your Guests.
Make good introductions.
During drop-off, remove all distractions so you can focus on creating a calm environment - this includes your own state of mind. Make sure you introduce new dogs on neutral territory, one-on-one. It's best to do this outside, if possible, or perhaps on a walk.
- Safely restrain other pets in your care before opening the door.
- Create a "loading zone" in a room where you can keep a new dog - separate and safe - until you have the manpower to make proper introductions.
- Doorbells and knocks at the door can trigger dogs to bark or get excited. Don't hesitate to tell a Guest to text you when they arrive if you that Guest and/or resident dogs respond to those triggers. This will make everyone's experience smoother.
Prevent runaway dogs.
A leash is a great thing. You might think that taking the leash off ASAP will help a dog "feel at home". Before you remove the leash, remember this:
- Create a safe, secure environment to make the dog feel more comfortable. The leash might even need to stay on for a bit while the dog settles in, especially if people are entering and exiting the home.
- Dogs who've never bolted might feel uneasy and make a break for it while the door is open or while the Guest is dropping off one last thing. Even senior dogs, who typically move at a snail's pace, will take off in a moment of confusion or fear when the lead is taken off too soon.
- A Guest dog most likely can't handle the same things your resident dog can. Don't assume that because your dog will wait patiently on the porch that a Guest dog will do the same.
Stay in touch.
Every Guest appreciates updates during their dog's Vacay, especially during the first few hours after drop-off. A Guest may feel anxious or even guilty for leaving their pup behind. If your Guest has to ask for an update, you've waited to long to send one.
- Make a habit of taking a picture of the dog shortly after drop-off, ideally within the first 2 hours.
- It's reassuring to your Guest to see a picture of their pup safe in your home.
- You'll also have a recent photo of the dog - in case it's ever needed.