Housekeepers and Dog Safety
Housekeepers and other service professionals who may visit your home are at first strangers to your dog. Depending on how well-socialized your pet is, the meetings could be disastrous for both your dog and the housekeeper. Keep in mind that not everyone loves animals, and most professionals just want to do their job effectively and quickly before moving on to the next client.
Wendy Nan Rees and Kristen Hampshire, co-authors of Dog Lover’s Daily Companion: 365 Days of Tips, Tricks and Techniques for Living a Rich Life With Your Dog, offer some great tips to ensure safe and easy dealings with housekeepers and other workers. Based on their advice, try doing the following:
- Be at home during the first few visits. You want to ensure that introductions are made and that you can step in should there be a problem.
- If need be, place your dog in its crate, offering a treat and praise. This is a courtesy to your worker. Stay near your dog so that it knows everything is OK.
- Request that your housekeeper use dog-friendly cleaning products, and provide them if necessary.
- Give your housekeeper some of your dog’s favorite treats during the first visits. This will help him or her win over your pet from the start.
- Vacuum cleaners and other noisy appliances can often scare pets. Keep your dog preoccupied during such moments at first, which will help it to realize that nothing scary or problematic is going on in your house.
- Provide your housekeeper with any special instructions pertaining to your dog’s play, feeding and sleeping areas.
- When dogs bark and become anxious, they are often busy guarding you. If you are at ease, your dog will probably be too.
If your housekeeper is at all troubled by your dog, or if your dog doesn’t get used to this individual’s presence after the first few appointments, you probably will need to crate or otherwise contain your dog on cleaning days. Consider having a neighbor, friend or other helpmate do this if you need to be gone for long periods during the day.