A pet sitter isn’t a decision you should take lightly — it takes planning and thought. But don’t worry! Our Nurses have put together some tips to help you through the process of finding a pet sitter who’s right for you and your pet. The tips include where to start your search, which questions you should ask and how to make arrangements for anxious or special-needs pets.
1. Start your search early.
With the health, happiness and well-being of your precious pets at stake, this isn’t the kind of process you want to rush. Start your search early, don’t put off this important decision to the last minute!
2. Consider all the options.
Nowadays, there’s certainly no shortage of options when it comes to choosing. Some pet sitters will stop by a couple times a day to feed and play with your pets (probably not the best option for dogs if you’ll be gone more than a day or two), while more “full-time” sitters are willing to stay in your home or host your pets at their home. Others might go above and beyond and offer grooming and or even take care of household chores like watering plants and taking out the garbage. A pet sitter can help your home appear to be lived in, which may deter burglars.
3. Ask the people you trust for referrals.
When looking for recommendations, ask around, check with us first, as well as pet-owning friends and social media networks for the names of reputable sitters.
4. Ask the right questions.
You might laugh, but it is the same as interviewing for a job. You want to ask the right questions, pay close attention to their answers and get a general sense of how they’ll interact with your pet. Here are just a few of the questions you should ask:
How often will you visit and for how long? What do you do in a visit?
What experience do you have with animals outside of pet sitting?
Have you ever had to handle an emergency while pet-sitting?
5. Plan carefully for anxious animals.
If your pet suffers from anxiety, make sure to inform us so that we can help your pets reduce their anxiety. Hiring a sitter who comes to your home might be best for animals who would react poorly to being boarded in a strange environment. If your pet struggles with separation anxiety, we may recommend finding a sitter who can stay at your home continuously until you return. And while you might assume that staying in his own home is always best for an anxious pet, sometimes that’s not the case: Some anxious dogs are more likely to be protective (and reactive to sitters) in their own homes.
6. Make special plans for special-needs pets.
If your pet has particular medical or behavioural issues that require extra special care, it’s even more critical to speak to us. If you’re selecting an in-home sitter, let us help you create a list of questions that are critical for you to ask candidates. You need to determine their capacity for handling everyday situations, like administering medication, and unexpected medical emergencies.
By following these simple steps when you leave with your family for a fun holiday, 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, your home safe and your stress level down.
If you have more questions on choosing a pet sitter feel to get in touch with us.