If you are good with dogs, you might find that a close friend or family member asks you to look after their pet for a few days while they go away. You might think this would be an easy task, but actually taking care of another dog can be stressful. There are a number of different problems you might face that would not come up with your own pet.

That is not to say you shouldn't look after other people's dogs - it would be doing them a huge favour and it can be nice to have another pet around - but you should be prepared for some issues to arise. Luckily, if you are an experienced dog owner you should be able to deal with them.

Diet

One of the first issues you might have is feeding your friend's dog. While your pet might eat high-quality, premium dog food, theirs might be used to generic canned or dried food. Switching them over can be tricky; they might simply not eat the new food, as it is too different for them.

If you are feeding your dog food that is radically different to what your friend's pet is used to, such as the BARF diet, it is best to get some canned food in rather than have them share the same meals. Rich, meaty food can upset a dog's stomach if they aren't used to it.

Behaviour

You should expect some bad behaviour from your new houseguest. They will almost certainly become anxious at their owner going away, and will not fully understand what is going on. It will help hugely if you have met the dog beforehand, so they are not stuck with a complete stranger.

It is a good idea to have a treat ready when you enter the house, as the dog might become confused when it realises you are not their owner. This convinces it you are a friend. You should also take them for plenty of walks, to burn off the majority of their anxious energy.

Written by: Hannah