HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT PET SITTER
Schools out, the sun is out, the world is opening back up and you are planning the perfect family getaway. However, no pets allowed! Now, you need to find the perfect pet sitter.
There are several options to choose from when it comes to pet care. Boarding, hiring a professional pet sitter, or maybe leaving them in the care of family, friends or neighbors.
The choice of pet care while you are away will be dependent on a few factors:
- Stress level of your pet (and you)
- Separation anxiety
- Medical or special needs of your pet
- Activity level
Once you have considered the above, you may be able to rule out one or two of the pet care options mentioned.
Guarantee your city has many options for pet boarding. Looking for the perfect facility for your pet? Consider checking with your veterinarian to see if they offer this service, or boarding recommendations. Friends and/or even neighbors can also be valuable resources.
Regardless of where you go, or what boarding facility you choose, give the following key points a lot of consideration:
- Do your RESEARCH!
- Visit the boarding facility
- Check for cleanliness, safety, climate, etc.
- Find out the certifications of the facility
- Check references and reviews
- Inquire about the pet to care provider ratio
- Check out the atmosphere (sleeping arrangements, fresh water offerings, shelter)
- Discuss emergency and/or healthcare situations
- Ask if the providers are certified in pet first aid and CPR
- Inquire about staffing (is the facility manned 24/7)
- Are their cameras to view your pet?
- Inquire about cost (this can be a huge factor when considering pet care)
- Vaccination requirements
- Consider a day of play prior to committing to a boarding facility (this way you can get a feel for your pet’s comfort level)
Upon considering the above, if you plan to board your pet(s), be sure to contact the boarding facility well in advance to schedule not only your evaluation visit, but also your boarding schedule.
Additional things to consider when boarding:
- Boarding rates (what this includes)
- Payment methods and when is payment due
- Cancellation policy
- Check-in and check-out time
- Be sure to bring your pet’s health records, vaccination records, plenty of food, favorite toys, treats, and maybe even a bed or blanket
PROFESSIONAL PET SITTER
Professional pet sitters are a great option for pet owners who have multiple pets, have a pet with special needs, or just prefer their pet stay in the comfort of their own home.
Hiring a professional may also give you added peace of mind and comfort while you are away. Additionally, having a pet sitter in your home will help to avoid exposing your pet to outside dangers (illness and/or aggressive dogs).
If your dog is training, the pet sitter should be able to continue with your pet’s progress.
Additionally, your pet can maintain his or her normal schedule and eating routine. You may also find that the professional pet sitter (be sure to agree upon this in advance) will be useful in completing other tasks like watering plants, bringing in the mail, etc.
Where to Go to Find a Professional Pet Sitter
Your friends, neighbors, groomer, dog trainer and veterinarian are all great resources. Additionally, you can find professional pet sitting services online:
A few things you should consider prior to hiring a professional pet sitter:
- Is the business licensed and bonded?
- Ask for references and/or reviews (CHECK them!)
- Inquire if the pet sitter is trained in pet CPR and first aid
- Be sure to have a contract/agreement that covers the terms of the arrangement (cost, length of service, duties of both parties, emergency contact information, veterinarian and emergency veterinarian information, etc.)
- Ask for a meet and greet prior to hiring
- Take the pet sitter for a test run (hire him/her for the day)
- Discuss backup plan options
Odds are you may have a family member, friend or even neighbor who is familiar with your pet, and is willing to pet sit. If you and your pet’s comfort level allows, this may be a great option.
Of course, you will not be afforded some of the benefits offered at boarding facilities or by hiring a professional.
However, keep in mind that any of these individuals will still be putting in a lot of time caring for your pet. Even if your family member or friend does not require compensation, you should still consider some form of payment. A gift card to their favorite restaurant is a great idea!
Social media may just become your new friend when trying to find the perfect pet sitter. If you are a member of local pet groups based upon breed or location, check these groups regarding boarding.
Even professional pet sitters can be found here as some may own their own business and be breed-specific.
We also know of situations where certain dog breed owners switch off watching each other pets. Do you know how much money this saves?
As pet owners, we all know that the hardest part of getting away without your pet is entrusting them in someone else’s care. Give yourself enough time to do the research to find your most trusted resource. This will hopefully ensure that not only you, but your pet enjoys this time apart!