Nanny Confessions: Pet-Sitting Can Be a Pet-Peeve

If You Get a Puppy Pay Your Nanny More to Care for It
By Stephanie Felzenberg

Families have the right to own pets. But when working parents that hire full-time nannies get a new puppy they should acknowledge that caring for the new pet will largely fall upon the nanny. Nannies need to be compensated for the extra work or they may likely become resentful.

Pet-sitting can be a pet-peeve (pun intended) for many nannies. Using a simple pet-sitting work agreement and giving the nanny extra money for caring for pets can be helpful when parents ask nannies to pet-sit.

For example, the family and nanny should create a separate pet-sitting work agreement that includes essential responsibilities for the pet-sitting job. If the nanny cannot or chooses not to perform the pet-sitting duties the parents can then use the work agreement when they hire another pet-sitter.

Information to Include in a Pet-Sitting Contract:

1. Emergency phone number where the family can be reached in case of emergency.
2. Veterinarian phone number.
3. Pet-sitter back up person in case of emergency.
4. List of family, friends, or neighbors that have a key to the house.
5. Detailed history of each pet.
6. Where family buys pet food and supplies.
7. What food to serve each pet, at what time, and the amount of food.
8. Detailed list of any medications required. When, how much, and what type of medicine should be given to each pet.
9. Which treats the pets are allowed to have and at what times.
10. Fees per walk and length of each walk (for example half-hour walk).


  1. I have left jobs when the family I work for got a new puppy and they expected me to train it without more money!

  2. hope molina says:

    What is the best way to broach this subject though? How do I nicely open the subject and say that this should be a separate arrangement? Thankfully, the last employer I had who had a dog didn’t ask me to pet-sit, but when they went away for anniversary nights, I would be left to sleepover. That alone wasn’t an issue, but when the dog kept crying the whole night, I couldn’t sleep through the barking. The child wasn’t disturbed because he was in a separate section of the house. It isn’t just about the money, and that I should be paid if I have to take care of their pets, but they didn’t have a backup plan for the dog:-(. Most employers would just ask during the interview if you like pets in the house, if I mind, but I always just say that your child is my priority, no one else. I don’t mind the pets, but I am not obviously responsible for them. However, I wouldn’t know how to be firm about this. Any suggestions? Thanks!

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