7 Tips For Choosing A Pet Sitter
Heading out on vacation with your family shouldn’t leave you wondering if your pets are safe at home. Today, I have some helpful tips for picking a pet sitter so you can have peace of mind. For most of us, our pets are extensions of our families. Dogs and cats are the most common pets to require a pet sitter, but some families also have pet rabbits, fish, lizards, snakes or even goats and ducks. As you plan your family vacation, you need to think about who is going to take care of your pets while you are away.
1. Choose someone you trust. If you have someone handling the care of your pets while you are away, you’ll need to make sure they are trustworthy in your home. If you don’t know them personally already, you’ll want to find several references. You may also want to invest in a background check at your expense.
2. Has pets of their own. A real quality pet sitter needs to have more than passing experience with pets. Make sure they have experience with pets that are similar to what you have. Someone who has never had a cat likely won’t understand the nature of cats and their personalities. Finding someone who has had not only pets of their own, but similar pets is important. You want them to recognize issues and needs right away.
3. Willing to spend time with your pets before you leave. Don’t just hand over the keys and instructions. Make sure that you are picking a pet sitter who is willing to stop by a few times prior to your departure. You want your pets to get to know them and feel comfortable with them before you head out on vacation. Even if it is just a few minutes each evening the week prior to your departure, getting your pets used to their new sitter will help make the transition easier on everyone.
4. Can accommodate your pets’ feeding schedules. For pets who eat on a regular schedule, keeping that routine in place is important. It will help them to feel secure and prevent them from feeling like they have been abandoned. Make sure that they will be able to arrive early, late or even stop in during the day for bathroom and exercise breaks for your pets as they are used to.
5. Has references outside their own family and close friends list. Yes, family and friends can offer great references on pet sitters, but what you really want is to see an honest reference from someone who is an objective third party. Make sure to not only ask for references, but take the time to call them and verify. Your home and your pets are not something you should take lightly. References are there for a reason. You’ll want to to verify the information you have been given is accurate.
6. Ask your veterinarian. If all else fails, ask your veterinarian for their recommendations. Not only will there be people they know in the community, you might luck out and find out that they offer boarding services or have a tech on staff who will come out and pet sit for you.
7. Good communication skills. While you are away from home you may want to have a daily check in regarding your pets. Make sure the pet sitter you hire is great with returning calls, text messages, emails or other forms of communication. You want to know they are willing and able to follow through as needed.
When you leave with your family for a fun road trip or vacation, you don’t need to worry about the health and safety of your pets. These tips for picking a pet sitter are sure to keep your animals safe, home safe and your stress level down.
Have you ever hired a pet sitter?