Ultimate guide to finding the right pet sitter for your dog
Whether you’re visiting your friends on a weekend or on a business trip, finding a suitable pet sitter is important for the well-being of your furry friend. Letting a stranger caring for your dog can be stressful, but having the suitable pet sitter care for your dog allows you to enjoy your trip and gives you the peace of mind you need.
Finding the right pet sitter can be a hassle to many pet parents, that's why we've come up with this guide to help make your life easier. Read on for tips on choosing the perfect pet sitter for your four-legged furry friend.
1. How to find a pet sitter
- Word of mouth/Referrals -- Ask your friends, family, your vet or anyone you know who has pets and go out of town a lot. The benefit of using word of mouth to find a suitable pet sitter for you is that you can ask the person who has used the pet sitter's service a lot of questions. You could ask your friend how the pet sitting experience was, was the pet sitter a responsible person, how he/she treated the pet, did the pet like the pet sitter. You can simply ask your friend anything about the pet sitter.
- Apps -- Nowadays there are many apps online which you can use to find a pet sitter for you. You will need to type in some information about your pets, about what you expect the pet sitter to do, when do you want them to come to your house and so on. You'll also be able to look at their profiles, the reviews of their service and their experience. The advantage of using apps to find a pet sitter is that there are a lot them for you to choose from. Also, the price of their services is shown on their profile. Some pet sitters offer add-on services such as walking your dog for 30 minutes or grooming your dog. Everything is listed out so there won't be any confusion.
2. Check out the pet sitter's social media profiles
If the pet sitter is an experienced one, then there should be a lot of photos or videos and reviews of their services. Put in some legwork checking what type of dogs they've worked with, do the dogs look happy with them? Look at the comments other people give. That should give you some insight into the quality of the pet sitter.
3. Interview the pet sitter
After you've a potential pet sitters in your head, the next step is to interview the pet sitter. If you're serious about having a legitimate pet sitter, you should interview them in-person. Schedule a meeting with them at your home. You want to know how they interact with your pet, see if your dog is comfortable with them. You also want to know if they are professional, do they really love pets or are they just doing this for some extra money. Your instincts will tell you if the person is the right one. The next step is to ask them to show their qualification. Do they have any pet sitting training? Do they have any certificates to show you? Do they know pet first aid? Ask them specific questions to show their professional skills like "What would you do if my dog choked?" or "What would you do if my dog had diarrhea?" These are important questions because you wouldn't want an inexperienced pet sitter to freak out and don't know what to do when accidents happen.
If you want the pet sitter to spend a little more time with your pet, like a full-day staying , then you should ask them some more in-depth questions. These questions could be personal questions like their lifestyle, do they have children to take care of and things like that. This is crucial because if the person is a party-and-go-go-go type of person, or if they work long hours, then the person may not be a good fit for you, as they might not be at your house as much as you would expect them to be.
4. Make sure the pet sitter knows all the things they need to know
- how many meals the dog has each day
- how much and what type of food for each meal
- how many times the pet sitter should come each day
- The length of the stay for pet sitting session.
- How many potty breaks the dog needs per day.
- When the potty breaks usually are.
- What cues the dog knows
- What medicine they should give the dog and at what time.
- where the food and food bowl is
- which toy is the dog's favorite
- Any special care the dog may need
- Any allergy the dog may have
- Where the vacuum and trash bins are
- Other important things you think the pet sitter should know.
5. Give your pet sitter the name of your vet
In case of an emergency situation, the pet sitter will need to take your pet to your vet or the emergency vet. Make sure you give the pet sitter the vet's contacts. You also need to give your pet sitter the authority to care for your pet if there is medication needed for your dog. Make a simple document stating that the pet sitter has the authority to care for your pet during your absence. Print it out and sign your name on it.
6. Install cameras at your home
Although most pet sitters love animals, not all of them do. There were videos on the internet showing pet sitters bullying puppies caught on camera. If the cameras weren't there, the act would have never been exposed. Set up cameras where your pet usually stays. Being able to see your pet live while you're out of town will give you the peace of mind you crave.
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