As a dog parent, part of the planning you have to do for your dog is find dog care when you go out of town or have an unexpected emergency. The best solution for this is to hire a professional pet sitter. You might be thinking to yourself “I have friends” and family that could help me out. However,life happens and having someone who you know can step up to the plate and help you and your dog is essential. On your journey to finding that pet sitter I will share some things to look for to make it easier. Anyone can call themselves a pet sitter but there are definitely things that set a professional pet sitter apart from the others. As a tip to you, the dog owner, I would make sure to write down great questions to ask the pet sitter when you meet them. Sometimes when we are talking to others we forget to mention things and being prepared, just like the pet sitter should be is another thing to help you realize if this is going to be a good fit or not.
Finding a professional pet sitter
First of all, where do you find a professional pet sitter? Asking family, coworkers,or friends may give you some ideas. Another source may be the application (app) called Nextdoor (nextdoor.com). It is like the neighborhood where you live but online. People will post in your neighborhood questions and finding a pet sitter is a question I have seen many times. This will give you other information like if another neighbor has had a bad experience or knows a really good pet sitter. Finally, there are a couple professional pet sitting organizations that help and support those professional pet sitters. Pet Sitters International(PSI) and National Association of Professional Pet Sitters(NAPPS) are the two that come to mind. I am a member of Pet Sitters International.
Once you have found a couple good pet sitters, then go on their website and check it out. Make sure they offer services you are looking for and get a history and understanding of who they are. Also, looking at insurance, if they have staff, areas they cover, and some post their costs as well. I think doing this research before contacting via a form (online), e-mail, or calling will hopefully make things go smoother. I would ask a couple questions that you have and see how they respond. Part of finding a great pet sitter is listening to how they talk about their business and view pets to you and how you feel about it.
Tip: Do not wait until the last minute to find a pet sitter because you as well as your pets need a chance to get use to each other. Things can be overlooked that can have serious effects on you and your pets.
When I talk about requirements, I am sharing what you as a pet owner might not know about what a professional pet sitter should have if this is a business for them.
Questions to ask:
Can they give medications?
Do they know the signs of distress in a pet?
Do they have animal experience?
Do they have an emergency back- up plan?
Are licensed and insured?
Do they have employees?
Who will be doing the visits?
Can they follow your instructions?
What is the house key arrangement?
The Meet and Greet
The meet and greet is a chance to give you, the pet owner, and the professional pet sitter a chance to interview one another and see if you think alike. The professional pet sitter will take notes on the pet care as well as the care of the house. Having you fill out an emergency form, and a contract is not uncommon if everything goes well. You can think about how things went and decide how you want to proceed. Letting the professional pet sitter know if you want to hire them is key so you can interview another one if you do not like them.
In conclusion, we live in a time where information can be found quickly to solve our problems. However, taking the time to find the right pet sitter by using the information I went over will give you the confidence and reassurance that when you cannot be around that your pets are in the best care.
I hope this information was helpful and gives you the confidence and knowledge to find a great pet sitter for your dog. If you have more questions or our feeling overwhelmed, then let’s talk. Having that extra reassurance and support you need, will make decisions a lot easier for you and your dog. Here is the link again. http://bit.ly/wellmanpupscalls I look forward to speaking with you soon.
Are you prepared for your next dog walk?
- Checklist of the supplies you need for your walk with examples of each
- High value and low value dog treat examples