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Find a Reliable Pet Sitter

It’s National Pet Sitter Week and time to celebrate those that provide love and care for our precious pets when we are away from them.

Pet sitters do much more than provide a pet with food and water while pet parents are away from home. A good pet sitter also spends quality time with your pets, gives them exercise, and can help if your pet needs medical attention. Most of all they provide a peace of mind that our beloved four-legged family members are well-cared for, when we can’t be there.

But not all pet sitters are created equal. Here are some tips for finding a pet sitter and the benefits of having a pet sitter (rather than boarding your pet).

Benefits for your pet:

  • Your pet gets to remain in a familiar environment.
  • You don’t completely disrupt their regular diet and routine.
  • Your pet get  a reprieve from the stress and anxiety of traveling to and staying in an unfamiliar place with other animals (such as a boarding kennel).
  • There is plenty of one-on-one attention for your pet while you're away.

Benefits for you:

  • The peace of mind that comes from knowing that your pet is being cared for by a professional.
  • Someone to bring in your newspaper and mail so potential burglars don't know you're away.
  • Someone who will come to your home so you don't have to drive your pet to a boarding kennel.
  • The ability to communicate with someone while your away that will give you status updates on your pet

Finding a qualified and reliable pet sitter can seem like a daunting task, but it’s easier than you think.

Before selecting a pet sitter, interview the candidates over the phone or at your home. Before your do the interview, you should search their name or business online to gather as much information as possible.

Here are some things you should be looking for and asking a potential pet sitter:

  • To provide written proof they have commercial liability insurance to cover accidents and negligence and that they are bonded to protect you against theft by them or one of their employees.
  • What training have they completed
  • What kind of records do they keep about your pet’s 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? Is there a backup?
  • Will the pet sitter provide other 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 They agree to be with your pet?
  • How does your pet sitter make sure that you have returned home?
  • Can the pet sitter provide names and phone numbers of other clients who can be contacted as references?

If you are satisfied with the the prospective pet sitter’s answers, then it’s time for a home visit. You'll want to see how they interact with your pet. Once you determine it’s a good fit, it’s time to provide information for your pet sitter.

Here are a few things you’ll need to do make the entire experience go as smoothly as possible:

  • Make sure your pet’s ID tags are attached to their collar and all information is up to date
  • Be sure all vaccinations are current
  • Leave clear instructions detailing specific pet-care responsibilities such as feeding, where they sleep, what is allowed (going on the couch, not allowed on the bed, etc.)  and details of your pet’s daily schedule and routine
  • Provide emergency contact information, including how to reach you and your veterinarian
  • Leave a key with a friend or neighbor as a backup, and give them and your pet sitter each other's phone numbers
  • Show the pet sitter your home's important safety features such as the circuit breakers and security system

IdealPetX wants you to have complete peace of mind when it comes to caring for your pets. That's why you can depend on us for all your dog care and cat care supplies. 

IdealPetX Staff
IdealPetX Staff