How do you choose a reliable, loving pet sitter?
Is Your Dog Better Off at Home While You Are On Vacation? How to choose a pet sitter.
With summer vacations being planned – it is always difficult to know if your dog is better off at home? If you decide they are more comfortable in the familiar environment of home, how do you choose a reliable, loving pet sitter?
A good pet sitter does more than just give food and water to your dog. A good pet sitter can provide exercise, quality play time, and know if your dog need veterinary attention. Plus, an added bonus is most pet sitters will take in your newspaper and mail so it is not possible to tell you are not home.
How do you choose a pet sitter? The best place to start is from recommendations from friends, neighbors, or your vet. Learn all you can about the 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:
Can the pet sitter provide written proof that she has commercial liability insurance (to cover accidents and negligence) and is bonded (to protect against theft by a pet sitter or her employees)?
What training has the pet sitter completed?
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 her references, it’s important to have the prospective pet sitter come to your home to meet your pet before actually hiring her for a pet-sitting job.
Watch how she interacts with your pet. . . does your pet seem comfortable with the person? If this visit goes well, start by hiring the pet sitter to care for your pet during a short trip, such as a weekend excursion. That way, you can work out any problems before leaving your beloved pet in the pet sitter’s care for longer periods.
Source: The Humane Society of United States