I’m curious what you think of “nanny cams” for watching pet sitters and dog walkers.
Have you ever set up a camera to watch your dog walker? Were you surprised by anything?
If you’re a dog walker like I was, have you ever taken care of a dog when you knew there was a camera? How did that make you feel?
I do have a camera set up to watch my cats when I’m away for more than 24 hours. This is not to spy on our friend who sometimes checks on them. It’s so we can make sure our cats are doing OK while they’re alone.
So, I get where people are coming with “nanny cams” for pets.
As far as I know, none of my pet sitting and dog walking clients use cameras (that I’m aware of), but I’ve always just assumed there could be cameras whenever I’m at someone’s house.
I treat my clients’ homes with respect, obviously, and I always arrive on time and walk, run or spend time with the dog for the full half-hour or hour, regardless of whether there are cameras.
But I wanted to bring up the issue of “nanny cams,” because trust is a real issue as far as pet care. If people don’t trust a dog walker, then that dog walker is not going to have a very good business.
I do believe my clients trust me 100 percent, and therefore have no reason to use a camera and no reason to doubt me.
Here are some ways I try to build that trust with my pet sitting clients:
- By being polite. For example, I ask if the client would like me to take my shoes off during the initial meet and greet.
- If the owner is not home when I take the dog for his first walk, I send a text when I arrive and sometimes again right after my visit.
- I also send a text with a pic to some clients after every visit, depending on the client. Some would prefer an email every now and then or a written note.
- If there is bad weather such as a blizzard or a lightning storm, I keep the client updated so they know the house is OK and that I made it there.
- I provide references for any potential new clients that want them. I also set up a testimonials page on my web site.
- I use a GPS watch (love my Garmin!) to track distances. The Map My Run app also works well. Some clients are really interested in how far I go and where we walk. Others don’t really care.
- I don’t open the client’s fridge, cupboards or anything else unless they specifically encouraged it.
- I don’t use the client’s bathroom unless I’m doing overnight pet sitting and staying at the house.
Is it OK for pet sitters to ask about cameras?
I don’t ask my clients about cameras, because it seems to be a non-issue for me. (I just assume they have them.)
But, I do know a professional pet sitter in my area who won’t care for pets if there are cameras, and that seems reasonable to me too.
This woman is an established pet sitter and has all the business she needs. She and I meet for coffee every now and then to share ideas, and she said she’d just rather not deal with cameras. I can see her point.
Pet sitting is built on trust. This goes both ways. The client needs to be able to trust the pet sitter, and the pet sitter needs to feel trusted in return.
Whether you’re a dog walker or someone who has hired a dog walker, I’m curious what your thoughts are on this topic and if you have any examples to share.
Have you ever used a nanny cam to check in on your pet sitter?
I also wrote a post about the new ICPooch for video chatting with your pets.
Saturday 29th of May 2021
I've been a dog sitter for 3 years, and I try to act as if there is a camera watching me at all times while I'm at a client's home. However, I very much do not like the idea of being watched. If a client never mentions they have a camera, that is especially a violation of privacy and trust. Some of my clients have told me they have cameras. And I am totally ok with cameras being on if I'm just dropping in for 30 mins to give a dog a walk or a meal. But if I'm watching your pet for hours or for overnights, I would feel really uncomfortable knowing I were being monitored.
I just recently decided to revise my policies for this very reason. I do not like the idea of a client catching me itching my boob or hearing me belch or some other normal, natural, yet embarrassing behavior I'd normally do when nobody is watching. If I can't have that level of privacy and comfort while staying with your dog, then I do not want to watch your dog. I agree, if you can't trust a person to the point where you feel the need to have a camera on, you should not have that person caring for your pet. I also agree that it could compromise the relationship a sitter is trying to establish with the dog. If a sitter feels they are constantly walking on eggshells, a dog can easily pick up on that and very well not ever feel comfortable around the sitter.
Tuesday 29th of May 2018
I've never set up a camera to watch the dog walker. I suppose if someone's dog was home alone all day it may be a useful tool to have in order to keep an eye on the dog. Otherwise, I'm not sure what the point is, especially if the dog walker sends a text when the dog gets taken for a walk and brought back, as you mentioned.
Friday 11th of May 2018
I was a dog walker for a dog walking company for a woman who had cameras. I don't mind but she got very nit picky and petty. I showed up on time , took her dog out for a nice walk,and it just got weird. One day I Said out loud to myself, " again, the leash is missing" .( this would happen quit often,among other things) Well , she not only had me on camera ,she was listening and told me where the leash was. I stopped going after she would complain about how I let her dog pee on a tree out front. It was a tree on the street side, not on her personal lawn. I would never do that. I stopped going there. I was really good to her dog. She made me dread the trip to her house. She was using her camera and listening to micromanage the pet sit,which made it uncomfortable for me,not enjoyable.
Thursday 17th of November 2016
Always think your being watch.In a house or out for a walk.It may not be your client wathing but someone else is.Theres too many cameras everywhere today.When I was a young man there where not all these cameras watching us .Maybe its my age but I don`t like it.I live with it but I don`t like.If you don`t trust a client than don`t work for them.If I felt a client didn`t trust me I wouldn`t work for them .I`d take a bullet for anyone of my dogs. "Trust me on that".I feel my clients know me and trust me with there dogs.
Saturday 27th of August 2016
i am not sure. if i did not know the person, yes. however, i have found so one so good that i would not do that. she even emails me pictures and gives me several up to date information abt my girls. i have used her many times when i had surgery and was there, and i saw how wonderful she was and is. she is a vet tech, rescues dogs and worked at the vet school. i like her as a person as well. so i guess it depends on the person. she meets you and the dogs in person b4 taking the job. i would like to have a camera to monitor my oldest to make sure she is okay when i am gone. i had to go on er to dental vet for the 2 younger girls last wk, called her and she came over, she knows Evie, who is elderly, almost blind, deaf and has a little dementia. she told me everything Evie did, took pictures, gave her fresh water, wiped her feet, told me she pottied, took in packages for me. the dental trip was a long day, all day, 190 miles and over 1600.00. the vet did graphs, fillings, had to pull 1 very back molar, did something similar to a crown on 1 gal who had a crack. no more bully sticks for them. she also had an infection in her throat, filled with pus. he is an amazing dental specialist. people come from all over the us and canada to visit him. love this practice even though 190 miles away. he also does not do injectible anesthesia b/c if a dog has a problem to hard to bring them out in time, he uses several different types according to the dog/cats age, health, etc. my girls are wide awake in an hour or so.