Find the Right Sitter
Choosing the right pet sitter is crucial to your pet’s well-being and safety, as well as the safety of your home. If hiring a pet sitter is in your future, here are the top factors to consider:
To find a reputable and reliable sitter, begin asking for referrals from friends, neighbors, family, your veterinarian or your dog trainer. You may find pet sitting services in your area by searching online, contacting the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters, or Pet Sitters International.
QUALIFICATIONS AND TRAINING
During an interview with a potential pet sitter, ask about his or her past experience, what types of pets they’ve cared for, and whether they’ve completed any special training. Additionally, if your pet has any special needs or behavior issues, make sure the sitter feels comfortable managing them while you’re gone.
INSURANCE AND BONDING
Your pet sitter should be able to provide written proof of commercial liability insurance (in case of accidents) and should be bonded (to protect against theft).
How will the pet sitter communicate with you while you’re away? Reliable communication will put your mind at ease while you’re away from your pet. Many pet sitters will record daily notes about your pet’s activities, eating habits or mood. Others will send you digital photos, video, or daily text messages to keep you updated.
SERIVICES AND FEES
It’s important that you’re both on the same page about what’s expected, and the fees involved. How many visits will occur each day? At what times and for what duration? Will the sitter be staying overnight in your home? Will anyone else other than the sitter be allowed in your home? Will the sitter provide grooming or walking services? Will she clean up accidents, water plants or do any other vacation care responsibilities? Will she bring your pet to a veterinarian in an emergency? Also, if you’re delayed, can the sitter care for your pet until you’re able to get home?
REFERENCES AND INTERACTIONS
Your sitter should provide you with references of past clients and you should contact each of them. In addition, the sitter should interact with your pet in your home environment prior to your trip.
INSTALL A HOME SECURITY CAMERA
A home security camera system is an excellent tool for home protection, checking in on your pet, and it can work both as a deterrent and a recovery tool. You can find these inexpensive devices literally anywhere for as little as $20.