How would you feel about hiring a pet sitter/dog walker who had a baby in tow?

posted 1 year ago in Pets
Member
988 posts
Busy bee

I’d be worried about it from a legal standpoint. I assume that a dog walker knows how to behave around dogs, but a baby obviously doesn’t. My dog isn’t very familiar with kids and he generally doesn’t tolerate them well. I’d worry that he might nip or scratch or trip the dogwalker’s kid and then I’d be liable for it.

Maybe I worry too much, but a lot of dogs in families without kids may have problems being around children.

Member
4366 posts
Honey bee

@deucesarewild1:  I think it depends on the situation. Is the baby preventing the dog sitter/walker from giving her full attention to my dog? Is my dog ok with children/infants? Some dogs can’t be trusted around kids and others don’t like them. Am I going to end up with a dirty diaper in my trash can because you had to change your child’s diaper while you were at my place?

Personally, my dog is fine with kids. So as long as I couldn’t tell a child was at my place (like a diaper in my trash can), I wouldn’t care.

Member
5310 posts
Bee Keeper

I personally wouldn’t hire due to you do not know how said pet would handle being around a baby especially if said pet hasn’t been around babies before.

Member
991 posts
Busy bee

Well, I own a dog walking business. So I know I am not really your intended audience. :-)

But I do know a gal who just had a baby, and she does her hikes with the baby in a baby bjorn. 

I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing it, because I don’t like to have my attention split when I am with the dogs. I try to not even answer the phone. But I also hike my pack off leash, so I guess it depends on what you are doing. Neighborhood walks are a different story.

Also, keep in mind that not every dog is good with kids, so that might be a consideration to a potential client.

But if you are asking me as a dog parent? I would think that your first loyalty would be to your kid, and not my dog. And I’d probably hire someone who worked sans kids.

Member
1455 posts
Bumble bee

To be honest, I’d be more worried about my pet doing something unacceptable (biting, scratching, or worse) to your baby and you blaming me (as the owner of my dog) for it. Or if you’re dog walking and the baby needs attention, then something happens to my dog, your full attention is elsewhere. If I had the choice between a dog walker/sitter that did not have a baby and one that did, I would chose the childless one just because its difficult to take care of a dog and a baby at the same time.

Member
2032 posts
Buzzing bee

Yeah, I’d worry about liability issues. What if my dog bit your child? Also, as a dog owner I’ve encountered some sketchy situations such as running into dog owners who do not believe in leash laws.

I’m not sure you could handle a dog fight or ward one off if you were pushing a stroller or carrying an infant. I would just worry that you would have hard time handling the problems that are inherent in taking care of dogs. 

Member
2805 posts
Sugar bee

@deucesarewild1:  No I will not risk my dog’s life if she should for some reason bite your kid.While that’s too bad for your child, it could be death for my dog.

Honestly there are a LOT of dog sitters/walkers out there and none of the ones I know have hcildren in tow, so I would hire all of them before you.

Member
1455 posts
Bumble bee

Personally I would change sitters/walkers, because there are so many opportunities for the baby to affect how the job is done. Would the walker/sitter be as reliable as before? Would they do as good a job? Would they be too stressed to take good care of my dog? And then all the liability questions. I think having a baby, especially a first baby, can change so much in terms of personal priorities and concerns that I wouldnt want to possibly jeopardizing the health and happiness of my dog or someone’s baby.

Member
988 posts
Busy bee

@GoldfishPie: +1.

OP: I’m not being mean, but I would fire you if you wanted to take your baby while walking my dog. I really don’t think it’s too much to ask that you leave your baby at home while you’re working. Most jobs are that way, it’s just a sacrifice that everyone makes. 

Member
991 posts
Busy bee

@deucesarewild1:  LOL!

Ok, well, I’ve been doing this for about six years. I think it really depends on the client and your relationship with them. After all these years, some of my clients are very friendly (asking about the wedding, offering advice and help, get me Xmas and bday gifts), and some of them treat me like the maid. Or the gardner. Or the paper delivery  boy. 

Some of my clients are very wealthy, so they are used to having “staff”. 

It’s all going to depend on the relationship. It’s really everything in a service job like ours. Keep the relationship good, be flawless in your approach, and they may not leave. Once they trust you, you can’t break that trust.

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