“Is it too much to ask your au pair to wash the dog once and a while?”
An anonymous person (host parent? au pair?) suggested that we address this question.
Here’s my opinion:
Yes, it is too much to ask your au pair to bathe your dog. Even a sweet, little, fluffy dog. Unless your au pair took the dog on a muddy walk for her own fun, washing the dog is just not part of her job.
Au Pairs are here to care for children, and even if your dog is adorable s/he still isn’t a child. And, your dog isn’t “kid-related light housework.”
Some au pair agencies make it explicit that pet care is not to be expected of an au pair. Other agencies don’t mention pets in their guidelines, but it would seem to me that pet care is not within an au pair’s purview.
I think it’s okay to ask the au pair to feed the dog or ‘help’ your child feed the dog. And, I have asked my au pairs if they would walk our dog once and a while when I’m not getting home until late, but I have offered to pay them as dog-walkers too ( $5.00 Not much, but it’s the thought that counts.) But baths? No.
Also, since this is not official childcare, your au pair must be able to decline to bathe the dog if you ask her and she’d prefer not to. And, you can’t hold it against her if she says she’d rather not.
What do you all think?