Vacation season is almost here! If you’re planning a trip and can’t take your pets along, a professional pet sitter may be an option for you.
If we could, many of us would take or pets on all of life’s adventures. Sometimes, that’s just not possible. Because leaving your pet behind can be stressful, finding someone you trust is key. So, what should you look for in a prospective pet sitters’ qualifications and services? Here are a few questions the Humane Society suggests you should ask a candidate during an interview.
- Can the pet sitter provide written proof that they have commercial liability insurance (to cover accidents and negligence) and is bonded (to protect against theft by a pet sitter or their employees)?
- What training has the pet sitter completed?
- Will the pet sitter record notes about your pet—such as their likes, dislikes, fears, habits, medical conditions, medications, and routines?
- Is the pet sitter associated with a veterinarian who can provide emergency services?
- What will happen if the pet sitter experiences car trouble or becomes ill? Do they have a backup?
- Will the pet sitter provide related services such as in-home grooming, dog walking, dog training and play time?
- Will the pet sitter provide a written service contract spelling out services and fees?
- If the pet sitter provides live-in services, what are the specific times they agree to be with your pet? Is this detailed in the contract?
- How does your pet sitter make sure that you have returned home?
- Will the pet sitter provide you with the phone numbers of other clients who have agreed to serve as references?
Even if you like what you hear from the pet sitter and from their references, it's important to have the prospective pet sitter come to your home to meet your pet before actually hiring them for a pet-sitting job. Watch how they interact with your pet—does your pet seem comfortable with the person? If this visit goes well, start by hiring the pet sitter to care for your pet during a short trip, such as a weekend excursion. That way, you can work out any problems before leaving your beloved pet in the pet sitter's care for longer periods.
For more information on choosing a pet sitter, visit: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/choosing_pet_sitter.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/#look