We all wish we could be with our fur babies all day, every day, but there are times in life where we need to leave them in the capable hands of a loving pet sitter. It can feel daunting to try to find the perfect person to give your pup all the love and attention they deserve, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.
There are plenty of professional, capable, and loving pet sitters ready to pamper and protect your pup when you’re not home. Feel confident the next time you leave town with these six helpful tips for finding and hiring a pet sitter that you and your four-legged friend will love.
Figure Out What is Most Important
Before you interview potential sitters, you will want to make a list of any specific needs, wants, or services you expect them to perform. Would you like the sitter to care for your dog at their house or would your dog do better if they stayed in your house? How many visits per day and how much time should the sitter spend with your dog? If your dog becomes sick or hurt, will your sitter take them to the vet? Ironing out expectations like these will help you determine which dog sitter can provide the level of service you desire.
It’s also important to decide if you want your sitter to provide other services, such as bringing in mail or watering plants. Be clear during your interview and explain your expectations upfront to prevent any potential issues down the road.
Ask a Friend
Whether you are looking for a long-term dog sitter or just someone to watch your pup during a weekend getaway, it can be helpful to ask family members, friends, or a trusted veterinarian for recommendations. Anyone can look good on paper, so referrals are crucial to cut through the weeds and help find the right sitter. Using a sitter who was recommended by someone you trust will give you the peace of mind you need to enjoy your time away.
Your Home or Theirs?
While most people hire pet sitters to come to their home, some sitters will care for your dog in their own home. If you opt for this, make sure you visit their home. Find out how many pets the sitter has and how many pets they will be watching at the time they are caring for yours. Is there a secure backyard to play in? How well is the home pet-proofed?
Find Out if They Have the Right Credentials
You wouldn’t want to hire a contractor to build your house if they didn’t have insurance, so why would you want to hire a sitter to take care of your pet if they weren’t insured too? When you are a pet parent, it is important to mitigate any possible risk of injury or accident, especially when you are away. That is why any trustworthy, professional pet sitter will be able to give you written proof of liability insurance. Of course, always put away any sensitive, personal information and valuables before you leave on your trip to be as secure as possible.
It’s also helpful to check to see if your new potential pet sitter is both bonded and certified in animal CPR and first aid. When someone is bonded, it means you are financially protected against losses from theft or damage to your property. Bonding demonstrates an added level of professionalism and helps ensure that the job the sitter was hired to do is performed properly.
Do a Meet and Greet
Someone may have all the credentials and training in the world, but that doesn’t guarantee they will get along with your dog. Ask potential pet sitters to meet with you and your furry friend a couple weeks before you leave to make sure they have a good connection.
Watch how the sitter handles your dog’s behavior and take note of any red flags that make you uneasy. How do they speak to your dog? Are they gentle or aggressive when interacting with your pup? Does any of their behavior worry you? When you pay attention to these small details, it will be easier to make the right decision for your pooch.
Make a List and Check it Twice
Once you have decided on a sitter, write down a detailed explanation of your dog’s routine and needs, even if it’s just for a trial run. Let the sitter know how many times your dog likes to eat, when they eat, when they go out, words you use to talk with your dog, and other key details. This helpful guide will cut down on any confusion or miscommunication that may happen between you and your new sitter and guarantees your best friend has a great time.
Choosing the Right Sitter Doesn’t Have to be Hard
At the end of the day, you know best when it comes to what your dog needs. For the times you cannot be there, the right pet sitter can make sure your pup is happy, healthy, and in good hands. Follow these tips on how to find a dog sitter and be rest assured that your pooch is well cared for next time you’re out of town.
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