Summer vacation season will soon be upon us. While it is easier to find a vacation spot that accepts and welcomes your fur babies, there are still places and times when you need to, or want to, get away and leave your pets behind. We have 6 tips for hiring a pet sitter that will help you enjoy your vacation knowing your pets will be cared for.
It's always tempting to bring your dogs or cats along on your family vacations, but is it always practical? Probably not. If your pet has anxiety, doesn’t like car trips or may not adapt to a new location if you have to leave them alone, it’s best for your pet to stay home in a familiar location with a trusted caregiver.
6 Tips For Hiring A Pet Sitter
Start researching pet sitters in your area sooner rather than later because the best ones will have their calendars booked up quickly. Here is how to ensure you’re getting the best for your pet.
Interview more than one potential pet sitter. Just as you wouldn’t hire the first contractor you see, you shouldn’t make a decision on the first pet sitter you meet. Interview a couple and see who feels like the best fit.
Ask for and check references. You may be tempted to take a chance on a new pet sitter and that may not be wrong, but if you’re looking for experience for your fur babies, then choose someone who has been doing this for a while and who has references they can provide.
Word of mouth from friends and family. Ask friends and family who they use and why. Ask for a referral to the pet sitter they use. If you have a trusted person who uses a pet sitter, that is a great starting point.
Schedule a meet and greet. Never hire a pet sitter without him or her coming to your home to meet all your pets. See how they interact with your pets, but more importantly, see how your pets interact with the pet sitter. A pet sitter will likely not have any unease or hesitancy meeting your dog, no matter how large or small your pet is.
Ask the pet sitter if he or she has any special training. Do they know pet CPR? Are they a dog trainer who utilizes positive reinforcement? Do they have any special certifications or belong to any professional groups? These may not be indicators of one pet sitter being “better” than another but it may show their dedication to their craft.
Will they be living at your home? How comfortable will you be with a stranger in your house? Will your pets be the only ones the pet sitter is caring for? This may cost you more to have a dedicated sitter, but you need to decide whether you want a full-time sitter while you’re gone or if you want someone who can check on them during the day and be there to spend the night.
Price is certainly a consideration, but you sometimes get what you pay for and you don’t want to take any chances with your pets. You also don’t want to travel without peace of mind with who’s caring for your pets.
Here are a couple of other considerations.
Have the sitter come to your home before you leave for vacation without you being there. If your pets aren’t accustomed to a stranger coming into the house, and are territorial, how will the sitter get in when you’re gone?
Ask the pet sitter to send you photos of your fur babies while you’re gone. It is nice to see your pets being well-cared for and happy.
Make certain the pet sitter has access to your pet’s routine, feeding schedule, what you feed and when and where you walk your pups. Leave the pet sitter detailed instructions.
Once you’ve hired the pet sitter who suits you and your pets, enjoy your vacation.
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