When someone hires a nanny, their primary reason for doing so is because they want the nanny to help care for their children. However, if that person’s family also includes a dog or cat, they’re probably going to expect the nanny to provide some basic care for it as well.
If you’re in this situation, not only do you want a nanny who’s going to be willing to help out with your family pet, but the last thing you want is to end up with a nanny who’s always going to feel uncomfortable around your dog or cat. Since that can create a very bad situation for both your family and your nanny, here are some tips to help you ensure that your nanny gets along just as well with your family pet as she does with your children:
It Starts with the Interview: The main reason that families run into issues with their nanny and family pet is because they forget to address this issue when they’re interviewing potential candidates. The first thing you can ask a nanny about this issue is if she has any pets of her own. If she has the same type of pet as your family, you can almost guarantee there won’t be an issue. If she doesn’t have a pet or has a different pet than your family, ask her how she honestly feels about it. If you notice some hesitation, it’s more than likely a red flag that she’s probably not the best fit for you and your family. Just as importantly, be sure to confirm that she’s not allergic to the type of pet you have in your home. Regardless of how good a candidate is, she’s not going to be a good fit for your family if being in your home is going to cause her to constantly sneeze and have a runny nose!
Clearly Define Any Additional Responsibilities: The best way to avoid any confusion or unnecessary stress about caring for your pet is to clearly define exactly what you’d like done. Whether it’s changing the water, feeding in the afternoon or going for a walk at a certain time, by actually writing down everything you want done, you can make it easy for your nanny to take care of your pet the way that you want.
Pay Her Accordingly: You wouldn’t pay a nanny who’s caring for three children the same amount as a nanny who’s just caring for one child. When it comes to pets, the same rules apply. While caring for a pet isn’t going to be quite as much work as caring for another child, walking and other responsibilities do take time. As a result, when you’re negotiating terms with a new nanny, make it clear that she will be paid extra for the additional care she provides to your pet.
John Wisenheimer blogs for www.nanny.net which is a site that helps parents hire a nanny.