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Hiring A Petsitter

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Are you planning to travel during the holidays and are looking for someone to care for your pet while you’re gone?  If so, a petsitter is a great option to consider.

Although some petsitters care for pets in their home, the majority of sitters visit pets in the pet’s home.  Many pets are more comfortable in familiar surroundings, especially when their family is away.

It’s important to do your homework when hiring a petsitter.  Here are some points to keep in mind:

Schedule Get-Acquainted Visit

Your prospective pet sitter should require it, if not, request one.  This visit will give you a chance to meet the person that would be caring for your pet.

Observe how the prospect interacts with your pet, and gauge your pet’s reaction to the individual.  Pets are usually pretty good judges of character! If your pet doesn’t seem comfortable with the prospective, interview other prospects.

During this visit, the prospective sitter should understand your pet’s normal schedule for walks, feeding (times and amounts) and play times.

While meeting with the petsitter, determine the number of visits required and time of day the visits should occur.

Leave Contact And Vet Information

The prospective sitter should request this information from you.  He/she should ask for your best contact info, vet info for your pet, and a local emergency contact in the event you couldn’t be reached.

Is The Sitter Bonded And Insured?

Ask if the prospective sitter is bonded and insured.  If they are not, that should be a red flag and you should interview other prospects.

Status Updates

Good sitters should volunteer to provide you with updates on how your pet is doing.  Communication methods vary, but commonly updates can be email, text message, or phone call.

You should receive a written report, too, upon your return that spells out how the visits went with your pet.

Ask Questions

Ask the sitter what services are included in each visit.  If you have special requests, such as mail pick up or watering plants for example, those are very often included.

Be sure your sitter knows where all pet supplies are located, along with any unique behavioral traits your cat/dog may have.

If you have a garage door keypad that will used as the primary entry, be sure the sitter has the door code.  Also provide a spare house key in the event the garage door doesn’t work.

Be sure to inquire about rates, if that hasn’t already been discussed.  Ask about any additional charges for services such as administering medication, additional pet(s), and holiday surcharge.

Check with the petsitter on payment options (cash, check or credit card) and when payment is expected.

Schedule Well In Advance

Especially during the holiday season, pet care providers have full schedules, so contact prospects well in advance.  If you’re looking at pet care for Christmas, it’s time to contact prospects now.

Also, don’t balk if there is an additional charge for holiday visits.  The petsitter is taking time away from his/her family to care for your pets.

The best case is taking your pets with you if you plan to travel.  If that isn’t possible, a professional petsitter provides quality care so you come home to a happy, healthy pet.

To learn more about Joy of Living’s petsitting options, go to our Services page.

 

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