When parents begin their nanny search one of the things they should take into consideration is if they have or plan to have a family pet. Whether it is due to allergies or a fear that they’ll have to care for the family pet, for some nannies working in a home with a pet is simply out of the question.
If you’re considering hiring a nanny and have a family pet, you’ll want to be sure to find a nanny that’s comfortable around animals and willing to provide any necessary pet care. To attract a pet friendly nanny, follow these five rules:
Rule #1. Give full disclosure. Be upfront about having a pet and being an animal loving family. Whether creating your profile online or when working with an agency, be sure to include information about your pet in your family’s description. Even if you don’t expect your nanny to provide any care for your family pet, if she has a severe allergy to dogs or cats and you have one it could be an employment deal breaker.
Rule #2. Advertise for a pet loving nanny. When you describe your ideal nanny candidate, include a nanny that enjoys being around animals. When you do, you’ll naturally attract nannies who enjoy being around pets.
Rule #3. Be clear about the pet responsibilities your nanny would have. If you expect your nanny to walk or feed the family dog, communicate that from the get go. If part of her job would be taking the pet to routine vet visits, be sure to discuss it upfront. While opening the screen door to let a dog out may not be a big deal to you, to a nanny who has an allergy to dogs or a general dislike of them it’s not going to be something she wants to do.
Rule #4. Be willing to hire a dog walker or pet care provider and make that clear in your family profile. Dogs with lots of energy and young children with equal amounts of energy don’t always mix. If a nanny candidate is aware you’re willing to outsource the pet duties, a pet may be a nonissue. If you love a nanny who doesn’t really love dogs, hiring a dog walker or taking the dog to doggie daycare may be your only chance of securing her.
Rule #5. Compensate your nanny if she agrees to take on any pet duties. When discussing compensation be sure to include what you’re offering to take care of the family pet in addition to her nanny salary. Showing your nanny that you appreciate her going above and beyond the call of duty will go a long way in helping her to feel valued and respected.
If you’ve hired a nanny and then decide you want to get a family pet, it’s important to discuss the idea with your nanny first. If you decide you’d like to get a puppy, for example, the reality is that your nanny is going to be spending the majority of time with the puppy, unless you make alternative arrangements. If she’s not willing to train the puppy with you and give the puppy the care it needs, getting a new pet will be problematic.
While there are many nannies that love working in homes with pets, there are some that do not. If you have or are planning on getting a family pet, being upfront about it will ensure that the nannies you meet would enjoy working in a home where a pet was a valued member of the family.