Not Sure How to Find and Hire a Quality Pet Sitter?
Dog owners love their four-footed friends. In fact, it is not uncommon for most families to consider their dogs actual members of their families. So, it should come as no surprise that when people are faced with spending time away from their pets, whether for the workday or an extended vacation, finding the right pet sitter or dog walker is a must.
This guide will share with you five essential tips for selecting a professional dog walker or pet sitter. When you have someone you can trust looking after your pet, you’ll be able to spend your time away from her, knowing she’s in good, capable hands.
#1: Ask for Referrals
One of the most reliable ways of finding a pet sitter or dog walker you can trust is to ask your family, friends, and neighbors who they use and whether or not the individual is trustworthy. You can also contact Pet Sitters International or the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters to check on pet sitter ratings for professionals in and around your area.
#2: Ask for Qualifications
Before you select a pet sitter or a dog walker, you should have a sit-down interview with the individual. You should ask about her experience dealing with pets, what her training consists of, and what types of pets she has previously cared for.
If your pet has any special needs, behavior issues, or medical problems that require treatment, you should make sure the sitter understands and is comfortable dealing with them while you’re away.
#3: Ask for Proof of Insurance
If the pet sitting or dog walking service is professional, then it should be insured and bonded. Commercial liability insurance will help protect you in the event an accident occurs, and being bonded will protect you against theft.
You don’t want to use a service that isn’t at least bonded and insured, and before using them, you should ask for visual proof of these documents.
#4: Ask About Daily Communication Preferences
A reputable pet sitter will contact you daily when you’re away from home, so be sure to ask about their communication preferences. You will find that some pet sitters provide you with a complete record of your pet’s daily routine, including her eating habits, mood, and activities, while others may choose to text you daily with pictures and brief updates.
If the service doesn’t provide you with daily updates in one way or another, then it would be best to avoid using that service.
#5: Ask About Fees and Services Provided
Is the pet sitter going to be staying in your home or visiting at set times throughout the day? How long does the sitter stay with the pet? Does the sitter also provide walking and grooming services? Will the sitter take your pet to her usual veterinarian in an emergency situation? Will she clean up any accidents? Will the sitter perform any other tasks, such as water the plants or take the garbage out?
Believe it or not, not all pet sitters will do these things, so it is important to understand exactly what you’re paying for and how much it will be.
As the dog’s owner, it is your responsibility to provide the pet sitter or dog walker with everything she needs to perform her job adequately. This includes:
- Leaving clear and detailed instructions regarding your pet’s feeding, medications, and other important information, including contact information for your veterinarian and the closest 24-hour emergency animal hospital.
- Leaving pet supplies in one easy-to-access location. You should purchase enough food, medicine, treats, litter, and other essentials to last beyond your expected time away.
- Leaving an extra key with a neighbor or family member, and providing them with your pet sitter’s contact information (and vice versa) in case of an emergency.
- Showing your pet sitter how to use your home’s security system, the location of your electrical panel, and any other important things about your home that they should know.
If you are going to require additional medications or supplements for your pet while you are away from home, ask your veterinarian for new prescriptions. You can receive a free quote for the medications from Diamondback Drugs. We can help you save money on all of your pet medications and ensure your pet sitter has enough doses available so you can enjoy your time away with greater peace of mind.
Author: Giano Panzarella