Leader of the Pack Service Techs and Your Tenant's Pets 2022
70% of American households have pets, and 40% have at least one pet dog. It’s likely that at some point in time a service tech is going to go face to muzzle with a pet… maybe your tenant's pet.
"I must have stepped over her three or four times. She was sleeping just fine…so I thought"
I guess I was pressing my luck with that elkhound, because when I stepped over her for the fourth time she woke up with a start and clamped onto my calf. I couldn't get her to let loose. She didn’t puncture the skin, but it took the homeowner, their friend, and me, several excruciating minutes to get her to let go.
At Day & Nite we consider our pets part of the family, and we know that most pet owners feel the same way, so it's very important to us that we handle them carefully and correctly. Shortly after that elkhound did her best to defend the family turf, I decided that I was through being a chew toy, and found Pet Psychologist Robin Grannell, owner of the Canine Behavior Center.
Robin taught us that there are reasons for the classic " Dog vs. Mail Carrier" battle, and the dynamic is similar for service techs.You see, in the dog’s mind, the family is the dog's pack. And the dog should, and normally will, protect their pack. When we come to a home to do plumbing, heating, or air-conditioning work, we're either taking stuff away, leaving stuff, or opening stuff, and the dog doesn't like that.
On occasion we’ve had Robin join our weekly tech training meeting to get us back up to speed, by quizzing our knowledge on how to handle customer's pets. A confrontation between a pet and a service tech can be stressful, and sometimes painful for both. It's a very real thing, and I have the scars to prove it. I've been bitten so many times, I stopped counting.
So how can you help? Simple. Just mention that your tenants have pets, and ask them to communicate the particular care that they would like, "We have a cat, please don't let the cat out". Our technicians are trained how to leave the animal alone, and how to approach, depending on the tenant's preference. If they have a dog, an introduction is always a good idea. It only takes a moment. Unless we're introduced to the family dog, we're an outsider and may be perceived as a threat.
Often times, kenneling the dog in a crate is the best course of action. It may seem unfair or cruel, but it's actually a good thing to do for a dog. Dens are the normal habitat for canines in the wild. If a dog has been crated since it was a pup, it offers a nice, safe, comfortable place for them when strangers and service techs are visiting.
At Day & Nite Plumbing & Heating our techs are trained how to handle a service call correctly when pets are present, but you shouldn't assume that's the case with all service providers.
The next time you schedule a visit by a service tech remember, a little bit of preparation and communication on your part, can keep pet stress level to a minimum, and allow the job to be completed as safely and efficiently as possible.
After all, you are the "Leader of the Pack".
Bruce Davis, Sr. is a Licensed Journeyman Plumber, Licensed Electrician, HVAC/R Electrical Administrator, HVAC/R ,and Certified WA State C.E.U. Instructor. Day and Nite Plumbing and Heating, Inc has been in Lynnwood serving Snohomish and N. King County for over 68-years, and Bruce Sr. has been President and working at this Family-Owned business for 36-years. Bruce can be contacted at: Email: Bruce@dayandnite.net.Day and Nite Plumbing and Heating Inc. 16614 13 Ave. W. , Lynnwood, WA 9803, (800) 972-7000.