Are you a pet owner that likes to take your pet with you everywhere? Sometimes, that just isn’t possible. Finding a responsible, professional individual to take care of your pet at home may be a better option for you and your pet.
Have you thought about using a professional pet sitter?
Professional pet sitters tend to be in business because they love animals and will give your pet the tender loving care they deserve. They also tend to be more personally vested in their businesses, for some it is their livelihood. I know this because I have a pet care business so I have a ‘dog in the hunt’. My heart is behind what I do, it’s my brand, my reputation, and my passion for pets.
To help you make a good choice here are some tips on finding a qualified, professional pet sitter.
- A good pet sitter will have a support network. What better place to get a recommendation than your local veterinarian, dog groomer or trusted pet trainer.
- Let’s face it, the best recommendation is by a fellow pet parent. If they would leave the care of their beloved pet in the care of the pet sitter, that holds a lot of weight.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is an excellent resource and offers a comprehensive list of qualifications you can use to screen potential pet sitters.
- Ask to provide verification of commercial liability insurance. The goal is to never have a need to use it but accidents can happen. You want to look for someone who is bonded to protect against theft.
- Be sure to ask for references. A qualified and responsible pet sitter will welcome a request to provide references of current and past clients you can contact. We love when our clients ‘bark all about us!’ When contacting references be sure to ask questions that cater specifically to your expectations and your pet’s needs. Examples include administering medications, exercising, etc.
Is the pet sitter company affiliated with pet sitting organizations such as The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS), or Pet Sitters International(PSI)? These governing agencies provide on-going training and certifications.
- Do they have a back-up plan for your pets care? An established pet care provider will have a back-up should they suddenly be rendered unable to care for your pet. Don’t be afraid to ask!
- Check the contract and policies carefully. Ensure that all the discussed and agreed upon services have been included. Items to look for: cancellation, emergency contact, veterinary treatment, home access, clean-up, payment, etc. A good pet care provider should be very transparent. At A Loving Leash we encourage ongoing communication, we want to exceed your expectations.
- Pet approved! The potential pet sitter should agree to a meet and greet so you can observe them interacting with your pet. It is all about them after all…!
- Accidents and mishaps happen. You will want to select a person who is experienced and resourceful enough to protect your pet as well as you would. For older and special needs pets, the potential sitter should document medication, feeding, and have a plan in place that you both agree upon.
- It’s all about you and your pet so it is important to ensure the potential provider can meet your personal level of service requirements. Think activity level, grooming, special needs, and time. Do you need an in-home pet care provider to stay the night and tend to your loved pet?
Choosing to use a professional pet sitter might be the best choice for you and your pet. Knowing that your ‘family’ is in the care of someone who will provide personalized love and care can give you the peace of mind you need while away.