Setting up for a Pet Sitter
It’s also crucial that you are prepared before the pet sitter arrives. You should ensure that the sitter knows where you’ll be and how to contact you and has access to any emergency contacts should you be unavailable. These should include your dog’s veterinarian as well as another contact person who stays nearby (source).
You should also write out clear instructions regarding feeding, administering medication, or any other details so that your dog sitter has something to refer to in case of need. You could also let a trusted neighbor know that you are away so that they can be aware if any unexpected issues arise.
While you are away, it’s essential to check in regularly with your dog sitter if possible to ensure that everything is running smoothly. You could even arrange to communicate in real-time so that you can see your dog’s face for yourself!
Choosing a Dog Sitter
It’s important that you choose the right person to care for your pet while you are away. Not only are they caring for your animal, but they will also have access to your home, so you should be comfortable that they are trustworthy.
The best place to start is recommendations from other pet owners that you know and trust. To guarantee peace of mind during your time away, you should make sure to consider the following pointers.
You must be very clear on what tasks you expect to be performed so that the pet sitter can advise how long they will need to stay in your home and how many visits will be required. Let them know if you expect to receive updates and how often these should be.
Let the sitter know any concerns you may have about your pet so that they can be well prepared. For example, if your pup is terrified during thunderstorms or may get hyper if he doesn’t get enough exercise, it’s important to make sure the sitter knows upfront.
This is obviously easier when dealing with professional sitters but, even with a local teenager, it is advisable to speak to other clients they have worked for and to get a sense of their work ethic.
It’s advisable to meet up well before your departure so you can see how they respond around your pet. This connection is especially important if your dog has any behavioral issues and could react to a particular person (source). It also gives the potential pet sitter the opportunity to meet your pet and assess their own level of comfort.
This meeting is also a good opportunity to show them around your home so that they know where important items such as food, leashes, toys, and medication are located. You can also demonstrate routines that your pet may expect and show them anything in the house that may be necessary, such as alarm systems.
Make sure you’ve asked all the important questions such as what the backup plan is if they are sick or can’t make it to your house and how they should deal with a sick or injured animal. Let them know if you expect daily updates, photographs, etc. so that expectations are clear.
Also, make sure you discuss payment in detail so that everyone knows what to expect.
How to choose a pet sitter
Its crucial to choose the right person to care for your pet while youre away. Not only will they be watching your pet, but theyll also likely have access to your home and belongings. So, whoever you hire should be trustworthy and reputable.
Heres how to make sure you hire the best pet sitter:
Have a clear understanding of why you’re looking for a pet sitter. This will help the pet sitter give you advice as to how much time he or she should spend with your pet and how to spend that time. After all, some pets just need a 15-minute potty break whereas others need a full two-hour adventure.
Read client testimonials. Go online to find written reviews left by other customers. Does the pet sitter respond quickly to their clients? Are they willing to send their clients photos and videos of the pets while theyre in their care? Do their clients have peace of mind?
Arrange a meet and greet. Make sure your pet is comfortable around this person by checking out your pet’s body language and observing how the sitter interacts with your pet. This is also a good time to show the pet sitter around your home, and go over where essential items like towels and treats are located.
Check their references. Ask for references and find out if the pet sitter is licensed and insured.
Ask logistical questions. What’s the contingency plan if you can’t make it? What’s your cancellation policy? What will you do if my pet becomes injured or ill? How do you prefer to be paid?
Pro tip: Ask the pet sitter to leave a note every single time they come to confirm that he or she actually was there, and relay any information, like if your dog peed, but didn’t poop.
Whether you need a pet sitter for a week or a few hours, you can easily find a pro in your area. Search Thumbtack for the best pet sitters in your neighborhood, and start requesting free cost estimates today.
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