I have not posted in awhile (not since I had the broken toilet while a guest was here, turned out to just be the flapper, but I knew nothing about plumbing and still don’t). I have not had any disasters since that happened!
Now I have a new challenge: hosting while I have a full time job. I’m starting a new job tomorrow. I will be working at an office in April and May, then in the summer I’ll be home (off - job follows a school year calendar), then beginning in August I should be out of my home office full time. So, I’m looking at a period of 2 months of working outside the home.
The issue I am concerned about here is my dog. Guests always love him - he’s fully housebroken and potty trained and super mellow. Rarely barks.
I’ve freelanced since I got him 1.5 years ago so he is used to me being home with him and being let out every few hours. He does not need to be crated when I leave usually, either. I don’t even have a crate for him because when I first got him I quickly found he didn’t need it.
However I am worried with being gone a bit over 8 hours a day for these two months that he will potty in the house, at least a couple times, while he gets used to my new schedule. My check-in time for guests is about an hour before I will be home from work (I have a lock box for guests getting here if I’m not). I don’t want guests to get here and find pee or poop as a first impression.
I need to honor the reservations already made for April and May before I knew I was going to get an offer for this position, but I’ve blocked off from taking others until I have a solution for this.
Things I CANNOT do:
Have a spouse/boyfriend/family member let the dog out for me while I’m at work (no family in the area and I’m single)
Ask a neighbor or friend to let the dog out (they all work full time as well)
Hire a dog walker or doggy day care (cost prohibitive - I’d spend close to what I charge guests per night on this option per day for the dog, and I can’t increase my price because I have a shared bath and no extra amenities really to justify that) - but for the reservations I do have that I need to honor, I may just have to eat this cost and not making any profits in April and May, to ensure that the dog isn’t a nuisance for guests while I am at work. I’m fine with this.
Leave work at lunch time to let him out - they told me the staff usually all eats together, and at least early on I want to join them until I get a feel for whether I can slip out at lunch to do this
I could possibly confine my dog to a room (instead of crating) that has the door closed, but then my concern is that if guests arrive while he is in there he will bark nonstop from hearing people and wanting to be let out of the room. I don’t want barking to negatively impact the guest experience either.
I know many people with pets work full time and leave them at home so I may be overthinking but I really am worried about guests finding an accident if they get here before I get home to clean it up.
This all will only be temporary for April and May like I said, then I’ll be home most of the time again all summer, and then should be home based following that. Just don’t want people leaving reviews about potential dog messes, even if they are rare, while I adjust to my new job.
Again, my dog is fully housebroken, please don’t comment and say he’s not if he can’t hold it while I’m at work. He is a bichon frise so a small breed and therefore a tiny bladder and even as a human I have to pee every four hours. I’ve freelanced from home since getting him so I’ve never been gone more than a few hours at a time but that is all changing this week, temporarily, for the next 2 months.
Should I message guests with upcoming reservations to give them a heads up about all this? I feel like I should.