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’ll 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 with a safety plan request once our profile review 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?
- Dogs have been known to escape through fenced yards or bolting through doors. List two ways that you would prevent these types of escapes.
- Describe two situations in which you might need to introduce new dogs to each other. How will you go about introducing them? What warning signs will you watch for, and how will you react if they are showing signs of stress?
- Even the best behaved dogs can be sensitive about food. With that in mind, how will you go about feeding multiple dogs at once?
- We always encourage Meet & Greets with a new client. What are two questions you would ask during a Meet & Greet?
- How often do you feel you should check in with a Rover owner? What is your preferred method of communication (i.e. texts, emails, etc.)?
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 and share any possible scenarios where there is even the smallest possibility that a dog could get out of your care during a stay. 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.