View Full Version : Childminding and pets - Dogs particularly

27-01-2011, 01:48 PM
Hi all

We have a 4 year old long legged Jack Russell that tends to disappear upstairs all day, doesn't lick, rarely barks, and to be honest isn't really a problem other than the obvious daily poop scooping chore.

Just wondering how many of you have a dog, and what impact/influence that has had on prospective parents choosing you as their chlildminder?


Chrissie x

27-01-2011, 01:55 PM
Some peope like dogs and pets and will chose you because you have a dog. Other people will not like dogs or pets and will not chose you.

There is diversity amongst childminders, and diversity between what parents are looking for. Your situation will be perfect for someone

27-01-2011, 01:59 PM
i read that as a 'one legged jack russell' :laughing:

yes i have a dog (+ 3 cats, 2 gerbils, tropical fish & marine reef aquariums)

& yes it once has lost me a client, she phoned up & the very first question (after if i had vacancies) was do i have a dog.....i answered yes, she said dogs were dirty & put the phone down :eek: ....... 'your welcome' i said to the dead line!

but it probably saved me a whole load of hassle as if she was rude like that in person its not the sort of person i would like to be around :thumbsup:

my youngest mindees mum is now not dogaphobic thanks to my hyper border collie & often brings him treats :D

27-01-2011, 02:09 PM
We've got dogs and a whole other array of pets ranging from snails, fish up to guinea pigs and rabbits - in fact its like a zoo.

Im always very honest with parents when they enquire and even though one mum is petrified of dogs - she did not want her LO to learn her fear and I have LO full time. (who in fact loves my dogs!).

My dogs are kept in a secure location of the house at all minding times behind a secure gate that the children cannot open. The dogs can see out, the LO's see in and with my guidance can stroke them. My policy is however that the dogs are not loose whilst mindees are on site UNLESS their parents are with them and agree (I housed a dog from one of my mindees mum's friends so she knew him since he was born and has also bonded with him). My dogs are friendly, playful and very loving but like all dogs are unpredictable. You need to ensure that you have a policy that states what you will do in respect of the dog and mindee, also to cover how you ensure the mindees will be safe in the garden and protected from dog mess etc.

Good luck.

27-01-2011, 02:12 PM
I have two large dogs hun, two full sized labs. All of my parents have questionned what I do with them etc when Im minding. We have a purpose built barn down the side of our house and they "live" in there during the day when mindees are here. They are soft as muck but can imagine would be very intimidating to a two year old as they are really big dogs. I do sympathise with the parents when they raise concern about attacks etc which is why my girls stay in there. You just never know. Ive never had anyone decide not to come because of the dogs though and I make it clear right from the start (its mentioned on my website about 20 times, I tell them on the phone, I discuss it when they arrive and I mention it in my welcome letter) just so Im covered!!! xx

27-01-2011, 05:05 PM
I always mention I have a dog and its never lost me a potential mindie. I have had parents and children come, who have eventually overcome their fear. My dog is old and spend most of her day asleep in the kitchen, she can see us and the children can see her, but she is out of the way. She is a good girl, but you just never know if a child may do something to hurt her.

Only one parent has ever really shown any concern and reuqested that her child didnt have any contact with the dog as his dad was bitten badly as a child. I reassured her that it wasnt a problem and she was fine by it

27-01-2011, 05:31 PM
I have a 5yrold labrador who sleeps in the kitchen during the day,,,he is a soppy lovley dog but i am aware that no dog can be fully trusted and parents appriciate that I am aware of this,,,, somtimes we take him for walks and somtimes the children will groom him but ususaly he just sleeps in the day time.
it only ever put one person off and she hadnt even met him!
most people i come across are either nervous of dogs or their children are but say they want their child to be around animals so they arent scared and ussualy after a few weeks are fine with him,
I dont mention i have animals when people ring up and ask to visit as i feel if they are allergic or have a problem with animals then they would ask you if you have any animals anyway.

27-01-2011, 05:49 PM
I have a lab pup and it has put a few people off but I've just had an enquiry for a baby and the mum was really pleased that i had a pup the same age as her baby "they can grow up together"
Delilah does have the kitchen as her room though. she does spend the day with us and as they are all well supervised i wouldn't dream of making her stay on her own for 11 hours. I make parents aware of how Delilah is put in the kitchen during meal times and for the baby to have time on the floor etc (if she signs) but as i wont be leaving the baby on the floor all day, i see no reason to enforce solitary confinement for the poor little thing - sure fire way of turning her in to a major handful :thumbsup:

You will get those that don't like pets and those that do. There are those that don't like them but still want their children to have contact with them.

I always mention my pets on the first contact to save any wasted time - i cannot stand it when people cower away from my animals as thought they might maul them so I'd rather just rule them out. It is still my home and my animals are my babies too. Very much adored and completely part of our home and lifestyle....

Good luck x

27-01-2011, 08:24 PM
Aww, thanks for your replies. I was a little concerned that having a dog would put potential parents off, but I'd get rid of my own kids before I got rid of the dog lol, he's less hassle than they are and far more obedient lol

Depending on the age of a child, would depend where he's kept. I wouldn't trust him downstairs with a baby/toddler about, so he'd happily stay upstairs stairgated - as he does when my 18 month niece visits, but for older children 8+, his usual home in the kitchen, again stairgated, would be suitable. I also guess it depends on him too lol, if it's too noisy, he likes to hide under the bed anyway :laughing:

27-01-2011, 08:49 PM
we have 2 terriers - a 15yr old and a 1yr old :)

old dog sleeps most of the day in her bed in the dining room - mindees are on chairs in there and she is too old to climb up (stopped jumping years ago :laughing: ) plus she has hardly anyteeth anyway!

young one has a crate in the kitchen - her safe place and bed. Had it when we got her at 8 weeks. she comes out when it is safe and clear to - often out for the day with DH on the farm working anyway. Sometimes she needs a day sleeping in there to rest after long day out with him. I also let her out in the kitchen when we are in dining room as there is a gate across between the rooms.

Parents have not found it a problem - I don't leave them with mindees and they adore the pup - poor old dog just keeps out of the way as she is also almost blind and deaf. Not sure she will be about much longer :(

30-01-2011, 06:12 PM
Well when we got our first dog four months ago, i let all the parents know and gave them a chance to meet him and say hello, all were very positive. One had a question about a potential skin problem in her child and we agreed to monitor it as the dog wasnt around the children that much, and we had no problems.

The dog has actually helped some of the children, they are only ever given supervised access and not left alone with the dog ever, we are fortunate in that there are two of us and the dog had a crate which we use for him intermittently if we need to.

We then got our second dog last week and this too has been met with great excitement, I am sure the little ones talking excitedly about them both has helped.

We do not keep the dogs and children separate all of the time, but we will separate them if the dogs are too interested in what is going on, putting the dogs either in another room, their crates or in the garden if it isnt where we are playing.

The dogs are learning to take no notice of the children and rarely now borrow a toy of the childrens to play with.

We put the dogs away whilst we are preparing and serving food as the situation is new and the dogs are young, but we are going to as a family work on lessening any interest so that they can be safely around food being eaten.

We are still learning what impact it will have on our business for new children, but we have been assured that the mum of an 8month old looking to start in april has no problem, but then she has two dogs of her own, albeit a little smaller than our two medium size dogs.

We dont ever plan to tell parents that never the twain shall meet, because i dont think this is fair on the dogs or a good thing to teach the children, but we are careful and although love the dogs and the children we are not complacement to ever trust either fully. Having two of us does make this easier to manage though and we are working hard with the children to teach them how/when to interact with the dogs, and what not to do.

I really hope that it wont affect business because I really believe it can be a positive thing, think the snake gives the heebyjeebies more.

I am in two minds at what point we should inform people about having dogs, and think will judge each case on its own basis, same as with the snake!

30-01-2011, 06:57 PM
I have a dog and am full so it hasnt put too many people off.

30-01-2011, 09:30 PM
we have 2 lab sized dogs who mostlylive in the kitchen behind a doggy gatewhile I;m working but the children can see them and talk to them, I always tell prospective parents we have dogs and so farno one has been put off, so hopefully you will be okxxx

30-01-2011, 11:40 PM
Hi I have been childminding for 26 yrs and nearly always had dogs,At present I have 2 stafford bull terriers and I think 3 times been turned down because of them, once due to allergies,once because they didnt like anydogs and only once because they are staffies.Not left on their own with mindees and are not allowed in playroom and policy about them in place:) :)