How To Find A Great Pet Sitter
12 March, 2012

When you go on vacation and have pets, it can be stressful to find a pet sitter for your cat or dog.  Sometimes, if you are lucky, you can find a neighbor or a friend who could stop by and feed your cat or dog, but that can become a big responsibility.  Further, if your pet has a special need, it might be best to look for a pet sitter who is experienced with dispensing medications or behavioral problems.

Where can you find a pet sitter?

1. Ask your friends as anyone can look good on a flyer, advertisement, or website. If you aren’t sure about a pet sitter, ask your fellow pet owners who they have used or liked. Even the locals at your dog park may have a good recommendation.

2.  Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation.  Any pet sitter who is building a reputation will have reached out to others in the pet industry. Your vet may have clients and others who use a pet sitter or knows of one that comes highly recommended. A pet sitter who has established a good rapport with a vet can be a sitter that truly knows how to care for your pet.

I like my pet sitter!

Now that you found your pet sitter, make sure to do the below:

1.  Ask for references and make sure that your pet sitter is insured, bonded, and what training, if any, has she completed? Will the sitter make notes about your pet and update you while you’re away? Is the sitter associated with a vet who can provide emergency care? How will he or she check that you’ve returned home to return keys, make sure the pets are ok, and any other services you’ve asked to have done?

2.   Read the contract carefully as the pet sitter will have complete access to your house and belonging.  Make sure to discuss all the other tasks you expect such as taking in the mail, watering plants that might be omitted from the contract. Review the amount of time your pet will be the pet sitter, the length of the walks, play time, and other services.

3.  Set up a meet and greet a few days before you go away.  Ask the pet sitter to come by and spend a little time with your dog or cat. See if your pets are ok with him or her and how they all get along.  If you have a dog, take her or him out for a walk with the pet sitter. See if the cat comes over for a pat on the head. Use your gut instinct to see if you feel at ease with your pets in his or her care.

4.   Make sure to talk about what to do if your pet becomes ill or injured under the pet sitter’s care. Some pet sitters have a plan set up such as calling the client before taking the pet to the emergency vet. Others have resources that are readily available. Make sure the pet sitter knows where the closest 24 hour emergency animal hospital is located.

I hope these tips help and you can go away feeling at ease with your new-found pet sitter.

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