How to Choose a Reliable Pet Sitter | iPetCompanion

How to Choose a Reliable Pet Sitter

If you’ll be away and have no choice but to leave your furry baby at home, and leaving them alone is not an option. Maybe you will be gone for an extended period of time. Whatever the reason, getting a pet sitter is one way you can keep peace of mind.

You can prevent yourself from worrying about your dog. You know that someone is there to care for him. But, just as how difficult it is to find a babysitter, deciding with whom to leave your dog can take time.

On this post, we’ll help you narrow down your options. Let’s begin.

1. Start with people you know

This is one way you can make leaving home easier for you and your dog.

If your pet already knows the person caring for him, then an adjustment period is no longer necessary. You can also keep your dog from missing you too much since somebody familiar to him is keeping him company.

You can also entrust keys to your house more easily since you’re not letting in a stranger. Plus, chances are the person is already familiar with your dog’s special needs.

What’s more, you may also arrange for non-monetary returns such as caring for their pet once you get back home.

2. Gather recommendations

If the former is not a viable option, ask people within your network for recommendations.

You might have friends that hire pet sitters often. Ask them about the platforms they use, if there’s any. Or ask them if they can recommend a specific person.

You can also check out pet parent forums or websites for professional pet sitters. Once you have a list of candidates, it’s time to move forward to the next part.

3. Set meetings

Contact the pet sitters and schedule a meet and greet with your dog. This will allow you to get to know a person deeper.

You’ll have a feel whether the person is passionate about caring for pets. You’ll see if the love they have for pets is genuine. You’ll also gauge whether you and your pet feel comfortable with the person.

Exchange stories with the pet sitter. Ask about their experiences caring for pets. This is crucial if your dog has special needs or say, is of a large breed.

Talk about the challenges you faced while caring for your dog and ask the pet sitter what would they do in a similar setting.

4. Check references

Even though you already have your biases, don’t forego checking references. Request referrals from the pet sitter. Take your time in reaching out to other pet parents they have worked with.

Ask about their experiences. Run a background check, too. It helps if the pet sitter is associated with recognized pet organizations. If something feels weird, trust your gut. Move forward to the next option.

5. Ask about flexibility

Some pet sitters will be able to stay in your house while you’re away. Some may even cook food for your furry baby. It helps if the pet sitter has flexible work hours so in case there are emergencies, they can come in and look after your pet.

In this regard, it also pays to check where the pet sitter is residing. If they are from the same area as yours, it will be easier for them to get to you. Chances are they are also familiar with veterinarians in your place.

Should your dog need immediate medical attention, the pet sitter will know who to contact. Of course, you should always leave your own vet’s number before you go.

6. Visit their social media accounts

This may sound too much but will give you a better perspective of the pet sitter’s personality.

If you see that their photo galleries are filled with photos of them with pets, other pet parents, or kids, then chances are this person is someone that is experienced in looking after the needs of another person or an animal.

While you don’t want to base your judgment on photos alone, a quick look through their photos will give you an idea whether this is the type of person you’ll want to take care of your dog.

Pet Everything in Writing

This is creepy and some people feel an invasion of privacy, but regardless of whether you have a pet sitter or not, I always recommend setting up a quality pet camera in order to keep an eye on the little fur babies. As long as you inform your pet sitter in advance, there shouldn’t be any issues with it.

Pet Everything in Writing

Once you have already decided which pet sitter to hire, it’s time to make a formal agreement. Draft a contract and be clear about your needs and requirements.

Be sure that you both agree on the services that the pet sitter will provide, along with the rate you’ll be paying for. This will protect everyone concerned, including the pet sitter.

Educate Your Pet Sitter about the House Rules

You don’t want your dog to unlearn the house rules while you’re away. If you have certain rules, let your pet sitter know.

This will also come in handy should your dog misbehave. Your pet sitter will have an idea on the best approach to use to calm your pet, depending on your experiences.

Look Past the Price

You get what you pay for. Don’t ask for too low a price and don’t automatically decide based on price alone.

Being a pet sitter is a demanding job and it requires patience and professionalism. Plus, the peace of mind that a reliable pet sitter can give you is something you can’t put a price on.

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