What is a pet sitting report card?
The report card is generally a hand written message left for the client at the end of the visit but these days may also take the form of a text message, an email, a blog post, or a text message that includes a photo of the pets.
It’s very important to use some type of pet sitting report card for your clients because it confirms for the client that you were at their home when you said that you would be and did what you agreed to do.
One of the most common client complaints is that the pet sitter either did not spend enough time visiting the pet, or did not arrive at all for the visit. If there is physical evidence in the form of a note in their home from you their sitter that documents that you were there and what you did while you were there, this will immediately dispel these fears and make them more comfortable using your service.
What Should You Include In Your Pet Sitting Report Card?
The length of your pet sitting report is up to you – it could be a couple of sentences or a few paragraphs, and it may vary from visit to visit. You want to make sure to write about anything unusual that you notice during your pet sitting visit, including strange behavior of the pet, or changes to the home since your last visit.
Also make sure you mention any characteristic behaviors of the pet so that when reading your report the owner can say to themselves “oh that’s so Max!” and know that they behave the same way for you as they do when the client is home – this conveys to the client that their pets are comfortable around you and that you really take time to get to know their pets personality.
If you regularly visit the pet it may become difficult to think of something new to write in your pet sitting reports. Include some fun and quirky comments to spice up your reports so they are fun for your clients to read when they return home. You can even write some reports in the pets voice instead of your own.
Some pet sitters I’ve talked with have also left poems and pictures as part of their report cards! The more creative you are the more likely your clients are to tell others about your notes and spread the word about your service to their friends and family.
Here are some of the ways that pet sitters use the pet sitting report card in their business:
Rebecca Sue Hum Manning: I leave a daily report which shows the time arriving and leaving for each visit. Also write a little something for each visit. When the client is new there is a little more written in the beginning. Clients that have been with me a long time get something like…Everything A-Ok here…All Set for the night “or” Normal routine done, “fluffy” is her normal sweet self!! (You get the picture) Of course when there are accidents or something unusual that are not emergencies I wrote all of that in the note as well. For emergencies, of course, they get a phone call. Have not changed the way I do the daily reports in the 11 years in business.
Cynthia Lummis Johnson: We keep a notebook @ the homes of all of our mid-day/reg clients & that serves as a way to keep everyone updated/on the same page. For single visits & vacation/travel sits, we leave notes w/journal entries. Some clients want & appreciate notes after every visit; others prefer simply a brief summary. We’ll text if there’s something pressing/out of the ordinary. Some clients just like periodic updates; esp. if it’s a long trip. We also communicate via fb & email but it makes since to us to maintain some type of record that shows our coming & going. Basically, we do whatever makes the client feel most comfortable :)
Tori Lattig: When we first started we didn’t leave any notes. Now we have cards for day visits and a separate card for vacation clients. Our sitters fill out the card accordingly, letting the owners know how theirs ate, drank, went potty and their attitude. Sitters then write a note about what they did during their visit. If a client is going on vacation and wants updates, we will email them pictures of their pets with the update. Its not often that we send texts to clients, but if we do….there’s a pic and update for that, too.
Tails Around Town: We leave hand written notes as well which is more like a story. Clients love our notes! It lets them know exactly what happend while they were gone and what happend while they were away. We will write the time of arrival and date. We also give new cleints thank you cards and long vacation clients welcome home cards with short notes. Some clients request phone calls, emails and texts. Some clients only want it on the first visit to let them know you got in ok others want a text/email every visit which we do for free. We include pictures sometimes. Some clients have their own notebook. I normally write my notes while the dog is eating or on the floor with them as well.
Pamela Ranheim: We leave a daily note after every visit for our weekly clients. Letting them know how the visit went. If their pup pooped/peed and anything else that we may have done. Some of my clients will leave a note for us everyday and others only if there is a change in what we need to do. When I first started, wasn’t sure if the clients enjoyed the notes or not, but have since gotten quite a bit of feed back and they all say the first thing they do when they get in the door is read the notes that are left. It can get a bit challenging to write on ones that you are there so often for but I try to come up with different things to say.
For my vacation clients, I have a form that can hold 6 days and has places to check off things like: Walk, Pooped, Peed, Fed, Played, Groomed, Litter Cleaned, Medication Given..etc…..then there is a place under each day to leave comments. Again, my clients love the notes. I have just started to send texts with pictures which has gotten a REALLY POSITVE response.
For my daily clients, I am in the process of putting a notebook together for them with a picture on the cover of their pets. I like the idea of being able to leave a notebook that we can both write in.
Have Your Say
Pet Owners: Do you appreciate the notes/report cards your pet sitter leaves you?
Pet Sitters: Let us know what you include in your report cards?