Good pet sitters also spend quality time with the animal, gives them exercise and knows how to tell if he needs veterinary attention. What’s great is pet sitter typically offer additional services, such as taking in mail and newspapers and watering plants.
Why hire a pet sitter?
Pet sitters are professional, qualified individuals paid to care for your pet—offers both you and your pet many benefits.
Your pet gets:
- The environment they know best.
- Their regular diet and routine.
- Relief from traveling to and staying in an unfamiliar place with other animals (such as a boarding kennel, or family members home).
- Good love and care from your pet sitter while you’re away.
- The animal is not exposed to germs in a kennel that other animals may have.
- Happier friends and neighbors, who aren’t burdened with caring for your pet.
- The peace of mind that comes from knowing that your pet is being cared for by a professional pet sitter.
- Someone to bring in your newspaper and mail so potential burglars don’t know you’re away.
- Someone who will come to your home so you don’t have to drive your pet to a boarding kennel.
- Other services provided by most pet sitters, such as plant watering and pet grooming.
What should I look for?
It’s important to learn all you can about a prospective pet sitters’ qualifications and services. Before selecting a pet sitter, interview the candidates over the phone or at your home. Find out the following:
- Will the pet sitter record notes about your pet—such as his likes, dislikes, fears, habits, medical conditions, medications, and routines?
- Is the pet sitter associated with a veterinarian who can provide emergency services?
- What will happen if the pet sitter experiences car trouble or becomes ill? Does she have a backup?
- Will the pet sitter provide related services such as in-home grooming, dog walking, dog training and play time?
- Will the pet sitter provide a written service contract spelling out services and fees?
- If the pet sitter provides live-in services, what are the specific times she agrees to be with your pet? Is this detailed in the contract?
- How does your pet sitter make sure that you have returned home?
- Will the pet sitter provide you with the phone numbers of other clients who have agreed to serve as references?
Even if you like what you hear from the pet sitter and from their references, it’s important to have the prospective pet sitter come to your home to meet your pet before actually hiring them for a pet-sitting job. Watch how they interact with your pet—does your pet seem comfortable with the pet sitter? If this visit goes well, start by hiring the pet sitter to care for your pet during a short trip, such as a weekend trip. That way, you can work out any problems before leaving your beloved pet in the pet sitter’s care for longer periods.
Helping the pet sitter and your pet
- Of course, even the most trustworthy, experienced pet sitter will have trouble if you haven’t also kept your end of the bargain. Here are your responsibilities:
- Make reservations with your pet sitter early, especially during holidays.
- Ensure your pet is well socialized and allows strangers to handle him.
- Affix current identification tags to your pet’s collar.
- Maintain current vaccinations for your pet.
- Leave clear instructions detailing specific pet-care responsibilities and emergency contact information, including how to reach you and your veterinarian.
- Leave pet food and supplies in one place.
- Buy extra pet supplies in case you’re away longer than planned.
- Leave a key with a trustworthy neighbor as a backup, and give him and your pet sitter each others phone numbers. Be sure those extra keys work before giving them out.
- Show the pet sitter your home’s important safety features such as the circuit breaker and security system.
- Last and most importantly have a safe and fun trip. Remember to bring your pet sitter’s phone number in case your plans change—or you just want to find out how your fur families doing.