Dog safety is our top priority, and caring for multiple dogs at once can pose some unique challenges. If you’re looking to become a sitter, we may ask you to submit a Safety Plan in the following scenarios:
- You’re willing to sit five or more dogs of a similar weight (your own dogs included).
- You’re willing to sit three or more dogs of varying weights (your own dogs included).
- Your household includes a combination of cats, caged pets, and/or children (under age 13), as well as resident dogs or dogs to be boarded.
How will I receive a Safety Plan request?
We may email you a Safety Plan request once our sitter team has done an initial review of your profile. If you receive this email, your sitter profile won't become active until we've received and approved your Safety Plan.
What questions are asked in the Safety Plan request?
Escape prevention: How would you prevent dogs from escaping in each of these situations:
- While on a walk?
- Bolting through doors?
- Playing in a fenced garden or dog park?
- What are two situations in which you might need to introduce new dogs to each other?
- How will you go about introducing them?
- Where will the introductions occur?
- What warning signs will you watch for?
- How will you react if they are showing signs of stress during an introduction?
- Even the best behaved dogs can be aggressive around food. With that in mind, how will you go about feeding multiple dogs at once?
Anxiety: During a stay, your Rover dog begins displaying some anxiety in the form of accidents and destructive behaviour.
- How do you help calm the dog and avoid these issues?
- How do you communicate this information to the dog owner?
What goes into a great Safety Plan?
If you’re asked to submit a Safety Plan, here are some tips for writing a great one:
- Take it seriously and submit your plan on time. We’re looking for sitters willing to carefully consider and think through safety measures ahead of time.
- Tell us how you'll prevent escapes. Think through the possible scenarios that a dog could get out of your care. Stating that no dog will ever be able to get out of your home or yard is not an adequate answer as dogs can be unpredictable.
- Tell us how you’ll keep everyone safe. Here’s an example of how you might think about this: If you’ve got five dogs and two cats in your home, what steps will you take ahead of time to keep all of them safe? Consider how you might create quiet spaces for shyer dogs, how you’ll supervise the dogs if they need to be split up, or even any calming techniques you might know. Show us you have the knowledge to securely care for all of the animals in your home.
- Tell us how you’ll keep small dogs safe around bigger dogs. Even if the dogs seem to get along, big dog/little dog combos are always something to keep an eye on. Think about how you’ll handle things like feeding, walking, and supervision.
- Tell us how you’ll introduce dogs that don’t know each other. If you’re going to care for a large number of dogs, chances are high that you’ll have overlapping stays. That means you’ll need to navigate caring for dogs who’ve never met. Think about how you’ll ideally have these dogs meet, what you’ll say to their owners, and how you’ll manage your calendar.
- Check out Rover’s Sitter Resources. We’re committed to providing sitters with ongoing educational opportunities, and that includes articles covering how to keep dogs safe. Take a look here for more tips and tricks.
It all comes down to this: dogs are members of people’s families, so keeping them safe is the most important thing you can do as a sitter.