Leaving our beloved pets behind to go out of town can be worrisome—even agonizing—for those of us who don’t have that angelic neighbor, family member or friend who just adores lavishing our pets with love and attention while we’re away.
But have no fear! There are lots of professional pet sitters out there ready to do the job. Here are some tips on how find a qualified and trustworthy pet sitter for your loved ones.
Benefits of Hiring a Pet SitterThere are many benefits to hiring a pet sitter. While a boarding facility may be a good option for an outgoing dog that isn’t easily frightened by strange places or faces, many animals could be highly stressed by such an experience.
Pets will almost always prefer the comfort and familiarity of their own home; however, entrusting your pet’s care to a busy friend or neighbor who considers the minimum effort of filling the food bowl to be sufficient may not be the best option either: Enter pet sitters.
By hiring a pet sitter, you can have the best of both worlds—your pet gets to stay in its comfort zone while also receiving top notch care and attention. And there are other perks, too! Pet sitters will bring in your mail, water your plants, and their daily presence can deter potential burglars!
What to Look for in a Pet Sitter
A recommendation from someone you trust is the best place to start. Begin your search with asking your animal-loving friends who their favorite pet sitter is. Your vet, trainer, groomer and local humane society should also have good suggestions. Otherwise, Pet Sitters International or the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters will be able to provide options.
Before hiring a pet sitter, you should be absolutely sure that they‘re experienced enough to provide the care and attention that your pet deserves. Here are some questions to start with:
- What kind of experience do they have?
- Do they have commercial liability insurance to cover accidents and negligence?
- What services do they offer?
- Will they take time each day to play with and give your pet plenty of attention?
- What are the specific times that the pet sitter will provide services to your pet each day?
- Do they have a backup in case they get sick or experience car trouble?
- Can they provide references?
- How will they confirm you’ve returned home on the date you provided?
Still feeling a bit uncertain? Ask the pet sitter to come over and meet your pet! Even if a pet sitter has good qualifications and references, it’s important to see how they interact with your pet—especially if you’re taking a longer trip.
Remember, it’s important to provide your pet sitter with everything they need to give your pet the best possible care.
Put everything in one place: Food, treats, leashes, toys, medicines, etc., and double check that your pet is current on all vaccinations and the proper tags are attached to the collar.
Give your pet sitter clear care instructions along with detailed contact information for your vet, emergency contact(s), and yourself (while you’re away). We put together a form to help pet owners and sitters alike keep track of all the details.
Download our Pet Profile Form to help you and your pet sitter give your loved ones the best care possible!