There are many considerations a family must make when deciding on a nanny to hire. One such thing is if they already have or plan on getting a pet. A family with a dog, cat, or other pet may be a turn-off for a potential nanny, either due to an allergy, not wanting to clean up after an animal, or just simply having an aversion to some types of pets.
So how do you go about finding a quality caregiver who is also comfortable around pets, and may be willing to provide some level of pet care? The following are some tips for hiring a pet friendly nanny, and setting the expectations in order to retain a valued employee.
Tips on Hiring a Pet Friendly Nanny
- No surprises. If you are advertising for the nanny position yourself online, or if you’re working with a nanny agency, make sure you disclose any pets that live in your home. You don’t want to waste your or the agency’s time finding a great nanny, only to discover at the start of employment that they have a dog allergy or will not work with a cat in the house. Also, be explicit about what types of pets you have – even if you just have a few fish in a tank, a potential nanny may not be interested in feeding the fish or cleaning filters.
- Let the candidates know what you are looking for. When searching for your nanny, be explicit that you want someone who is comfortable working around pets, and then you are assured that those interested in the job are fine with animals in the home.
- Make sure your job description includes any details about pet care, specifically if you intend on having the nanny provide any kind of service, such as feeding, walking, cleaning up after the pet, taking them to the vet, etc. Even something simple like “Let the dog outside when she barks by the back door” should be in the job description. This way the responsibilities and expectations are stated clearly in advance of the nanny accepting the position.
- Be prepared to make alternate pet care arrangements. If you’ve found the perfect nanny for your family, but the one thing keeping them from accepting the job is pet-related, like having to walk the dog, then hiring someone else as a dog-walker may be the best solution to ensure you don’t lose your nanny. If the nanny knows that she won’t be responsible for those kinds of tasks, she may be ready to accept the position.
- If you do have your nanny take on any pet care duties, make sure the compensation is clearly defined. Salary negotiation should include what you are willing to pay for the child care aspect, and then what additional payment will be made for pet care responsibilities. For example, if you were going to pay $15/hour for child care, you could make it $16/hour if pet care will also be required. This shows that you understand that pet care is an extra job and is reflected by the increase in salary.
What if you already have a great nanny, and then later on your family decides to get a pet? Adding a pet to a home can certainly change the dynamic of the household and adds more responsibilities, particularly with a baby animal like a puppy or kitten. It would be wise to discuss this with your nanny before making your decision. Many nannies become like family members, and if getting a pet would make the nanny uncomfortable and/or if she’s not willing to accept any additional responsibilities that would come along with a new pet, it could become an issue.
As with all people, many nannies love pets, and many do not. Being upfront in the early stages of hiring will help defuse any pet-related issues down the road, and will help you to hire the right nanny for your family – including your four-legged family members.
For more information, contact us at (518) 348-0400.Source: http://www.opti-mum.com/5-tips-hiring-pet-friendly-nanny/