4 min read

Pet Caregiving 101: Writing the "Pawfect" Report Card


Written by Emily Bayne

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 03/14/2022, edited: 12/15/2022

You've completed your walk, secured the pet, and locked up the house, but your duties aren't over quite yet. Report cards are an important last step in any pet care booking! Report cards detail a dog's behavior, potty breaks, and eating habits during the service, and they also let Pet Parents know if something is awry.

The purpose of a report card isn't to grade the dog's behavior but to let the Pet Parent know how the session went and inform them of any noteworthy or concerning behaviors. These reports are particularly useful for identifying separation anxiety-induced behaviors that Pet Parents rarely witness firsthand. These reports also help parents stay in the loop about their pet's progress regarding their obedience and walking manners.

Providing a thorough and accurate report card is very important and can alert parents to problems with their pets early on. Read on for tips for creating the "pawfect" report card every time!    

kevin dog walker report card

What should walkers include in their report cards?

Walk report cards are a great way to keep parents up to date on their dogs while they're away. Here are some things you'll want to include in your report.

Bathroom habits

Always include whether or not the dog used the bathroom on your walk. Detail how many times they went (if any) and if it was poop or pee. If the dog had a bowel movement, be sure to note if it was normal, loose, or difficult

Photos or videos

Make sure to snap a photo of the dog during their walk. Pet Parents love getting cute pics of their pets during their outing!

Walk details

Include a summary of your route and what you did during your walk. For example, "We walked the nature trail twice and spent the rest of our time playing fetch."

The dog's mood and energy level

Always describe the dog's mood and energy levels in the report. Did they seem tired, talkative, excited, or nervous? Try to keep your report positive but always note any concerning changes in mood or energy.

Walk highlights

Pet Parents love hearing about their dog's favorite part of the walk or what sights and smells intrigued them the most.

The dog's behavior

Give the Pet Parent an overview of the dog's behavior on the walk. Keep this section as lighthearted as possible, but mention unusual or concerning behavior when you see it. For instance, instead of saying, "Fido had a growling fit when they noticed a squirrel," say something like, "Fido wasn't a fan of the neighborhood squirrels and used their voice to let them know."  

Lockup details

Always include what time you locked the house and where you secured the house key.

What should dog boarders and sitters include in report cards?

Writing a report card for an overnight pet care service will be a little different than writing one for a walk. In addition to the items mentioned above, you'll also want to include these details in your report card.

Booking highlights

Start the report with the dog's favorite part of the booking or something cute or funny that happened during their stay.

How many times the dog went potty

Be sure to mention how often the dog went to the bathroom while in your care. Did they poo and pee regularly or less than usual? Were their bowel movements normal, loose, or hard?

How the dog ate

Include some information about Fido's eating habits. Mention if they ate normally or seemed more or less hungry than usual. Some dogs refuse to eat while their parents are away due to separation anxiety, and this information can be helpful for Pet Parents or Pet Caregivers in the future. If you find your furry client refusing meals, check out these tips for encouraging them to eat. 

Important medical information

If the dog has a pre-existing condition, be sure to include any relevant medical information like new or worsening symptoms. If the dog takes medication, be sure to write down the times you gave them medication (especially for meds given as needed) and any adverse effects you noticed.

Accidents in the house

Document any accidents in the house, and praise the dog if they are accident-free throughout the visit.

Noteworthy events

Include anything significant that happened during the booking and how their dog spent most of their time (like sleeping, playing, cuddling, etc.).    

How the dog interacted with others

If you're a boarder who keeps multiple pets at once, mention how the dog interacted with others. Did Fido play well with the other furry house guests, or did they seem fearful or aggressive?     

How to write a great report card

Here are a few ways you can make your report cards stand out from the rest: 

  • Give your reports personality, and don't be afraid to sprinkle in some humor either. For example, instead of saying, "Lucky peed during their walk and Roscoe was well behaved," be specific and make it fun. Something like, "Lucky made sure every tree on the block was watered and thoroughly sniffed!" or "Roscoe is a professional cuddler and has clearly mastered the puppy-dog eyes."

  • Touch on everything you know the Pet Parents want to know or information they've expressed is important to them.

  • Don't forget the cute pics! Try to get a pic of their dog in action so the Pet Parents see how much fun they're having.

  • Try to keep reports positive, but always include potentially problematic issues, such as diarrhea, behavioral problems, and accidents.  

  • Make sure to read over your report a few times before pressing send — remember, once you submit a report, you cannot edit or unsend it.

Writing a report card can be challenging, especially for reccurring walks with the same client. We hope these tips will help you master those report cards and bring a smile to your client's face too.

For more information on best practices, check out our Support Center for Pet Caregivers.

Comments (1)

Pet Zooie


Excellent post!! Concerning pet report cards. I found it very interesting and enjoyable to read, especially their report cards and pet caregiving. Keep posting informative articles in the future; they are extremely beneficial.

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