How To Choose a Pet Sitter
When it comes to our pets, we want nothing but the best for them, that includes finding the perfect person to watch them while we are out of town. Finding a pet sitter can be an ordeal in and of itself. Navigating sitter sites can be confusing, not to mention pricey. We want the best for our furry family members. We want someone they’ll like, and someone we can trust with our pets and our homes. It’s a nerve-racking experience to leave your pet with a stranger. How does one even go about picking the right person?
The most important part when searching for a pet sitter is to ensure the site is legitimate. A quick google search will often yield many results, with the top few being sponsored websites. The most trusted sites are databases full of pet sitters that can be searched by location, ratings, and specializations. Places like Care.com, Petsit.com, and Rover.com, also have options for searching for sitters based on them being bonded and insured, as well as reviews. Is it necessary for a sitter to be bonded and insured? No, however it does add a level of safety that can be comforting, especially if that sitter is staying in home. It protects from any damages and is a great added layer of protection for both sitters and clients.
After finding a sitter, it’s important to set up a meet and greet to get to know them in person, and to see how your pet interacts with them. If a sitter is staying in your home, this is also a good time to go over house rules, what areas they’re allowed to use, if any plants also need to be watered, feeding and care instructions, any medications the animal might have, as well as any important feeding and/or walk times. This is also a good time to really see how your pet reacts to this person and how they react to your pet. Is the sitter interacting with your pet? Are they engaging with the animal in a positive manner? Are they able to read the animals body language? Some animals might need more than one meeting to really assess the situation. Don’t be afraid to ask the sitter for more than one meet and greet.
Establishing communication with the sitter is also a must before your out-of-town trips. Do you want pictures and texts often? Would you only like one or two communications a day or per trip? Would a phone call at the end of the day be better? Having clear communication expectations is an easy conversation, but sometimes gets overlooked. Some pet sitters may bring this up in their first meeting, but if it’s not brought up, it’s important to talk about beforehand. It’s also a must to leave all Emergency information the pet sitter might need while you’re out of town. Vet information, pet’s age, any preexisting conditions, an approved emergency vet, and emergency contact should be left, just in case. The safety, security, and happiness of our animals is always a priority, and leaving the person watching them with all this information is really helpful. And of course, we want our furry family members to be happy and have their normal routine, even when we aren’t there.