While I take a bit of offense at someone sayin’ I need a sitter, I guess these youngin’s at my house probably do. Then, if’n my Lady’s gonna be gone very long, somebody’s gotta dish out the food and water! I haven’t mastered gettin’ water outta that faucet thang yet! Then there’s that business we gotta take care of outside. So, I’m a guessin’ she’s gotta point. Findin’ a pet sitter for daytime care or when ya travel is a big concern for pet parents because we’re a big part of the family too. But, sometimes, and ‘specially for folks that have to travel, ya have to do somethin’. We have a few Tips for Finding a Pet Sitter for ya!
The main thing is, anyone that ya entrust us to has to be capable of carin’ for us! They also gotta be able to connect with us to make sure we are safe and happy. The perfect pet sitter has a lot to do with the person and how they connect to us pups. Ya have to consider your pet (or pets) and find the sitter that is just right for em.
My Lady has a few Tips for Finding a Pet Sitter:
While I seldom leave my dogs, I want to know they are taken care of when I do. After all, they are my furkids! If truth be known, I hate to be away from them as much as they hate for me to be gone! However, for short trips to the store or other places, my dogs are perfectly fine at home. But, when I have to be gone longer than 8-10 hours, then help is needed. The obvious answer is to have a familiar family member help out. If that isn’t possible, it’s time to think of a pet sitter or at least someone that can feed, water and walk them.
With my 7 dogs (6 of them being large breed and hyper), I need to know that the pet sitter is comfortable being around them. I need to know they can control situations that may arise. It can be a very overwhelming situation for someone not use to dealing with that many hyper large breed dogs. I also need to know they can handle the situations in a commanding, but loving, way. For the safety of my furbabies, the safety of the pet sitter (and my piece of mine) – I want to know I have chosen the right person for the job!
ALWAYS Get Referrals and Recommendations!
Anytime you are leaving your pet with a professional sitter, ask the company or individual to provide you with referrals or recommendations. When people are happy with the person that is taking care of their pets, they are willing to give a recommendation. Every pet sitter should have some recommendations. Referrals from friends and family are your best source of information, because they are not going to tell you to use someone that they were not happy with themselves.
Conduct Interviews With Your Pet Sitter
Whatever type of pet you have, conduct an interview in person to get a feel for a pet sitters ease with animals and confidence in your home. A lot of people think they can handle taking care of someone’s pets, but when they are actually thrown in the situation they become confused and shirk away from pets. Are they comfortable and easy going with your pets? Are they timid, skittish, or uncertain? These are some of the reactions you need to judge. Ask about their experience with pets, time they have been doing it, if they day sit, or are used to long times with a pet and any health or pet care training they have taken.
Perform a Trial Introduction and Playtime
Pets need to be familiar with strangers before they can even begin to trust them, and you need to be comfortable with the sitter before you can trust them. Invite potential pet sitters over for a meet-an-greet and an afternoon of play with you and your pet. After introductions, try taking a backseat role and allow the pet sitter to demonstrate that they can handle and command your pet without your input.
Always Agree on Terms
Like any other service, a pet sitter is an important purchase that you need to make sure you can afford, for one time sitting and long term day sitting. Find out upfront what the fees for your pet sitter are, getting a breakdown of all of her services offered and any additional fees that might be added to your bill. This information will let you know right away if you need to continue looking for a sitter or if you’ve found the right person at the right price.
Use your instinct to guide you. You are the one person that knows your pets the best! Gather their recommendations, use your opinion of the pet sitter, your pets interaction and opinion, and then take everything into consideration. Finding a pet sitter is equivalent to finding a baby sitter in my book! Take your time and rely on your judgement. If something feels off, then perhaps you need to keep interviewing!