You might want to take your pet everywhere you go, but sometimes it is impossible. Finding a responsible person to take care of your pet would be better than living them behind alone at home. What about getting a pet sitter?
What Does a Pet Sitter Do?
A pet sitter is ideally someone who provides care for your pet in your absence. This could be during the day when you are at work or over a longer duration, say if you are away on holiday.
The specifics of what a pet sitter does vary from one pet owners needs to another. The general requirement, though, is walking your pet for exercise and potty breaks, feeding them and giving them water.
As a pet owner, I may require further responsibilities carried out for my pet when I’m a work or when I travel. This could include grooming my pet, administering medicine or taking them for grooming or veterinary appointments. During a vacation, if my destination doesn’t allow pets or for some reason I have to leave my pet behind, it’s wise to find a pet sitter near me. This makes it easier for the pet sitter to either move in for the entire duration and care for my pet or to come in every morning, care for my pet and leave in the night.
How do I Find a Good Pet Sitter?
There are some foundational qualities that a pet sitter needs to have. Not all sitters have professional training on taking care of animals. For some it comes as naturally as belting a tune. There are, however, those things you should look out for;
An Animal Lover
The very first quality a pet sitter must posses is a love for animals. I cannot stress this enough. Your pet sitter MUST be an animal lover. This means they will have genuine concern for your pet. It will also mean that they enjoy what they do and in turn, your pet will too. A pet sitter who is only doing it for money is not a good fit. You do not want your pet spending time with a sitter who may possibly physically or emotionally abuse or neglect your pet. It isn’t worth it.
That said, a personal recommendation is always best but might not always be possible. This is the most ideal way to find a pet sitter because you are certain they posses the qualities of someone you want caring for your precious pet.
Reliable and Trustworthy
A reliable, trustworthy person with good communication skills is someone you should be on the lookout for. You obviously do not want to open up your home to someone whom you cannot trust and start having your valuables disappear. Worse still is having the comfort and safety of your pet compromised. Your pet sitter should always deliver on their promise and care for your pet as agreed upon.
They should preferably be physically fit. This is because some pets are very playful. You want a pet sitter who can fully engage them. They should also be willing to work outdoors in case your pet needs to be walked or taken to a park.
Organized and Practical
You want a sitter who is organized, practical and pays attention to detail. This is the kind of sitter who would be quick to notice any change in your pet’s mood, demeanour or energy levels. These are very important things to be keen on because it could mean the difference between your vet treating your pet for something as mild as a fever and being hospitalized. Being organized means that the sitter will know where your pets required documents and records are in case of any emergency.
Your pet isn’t able to vocalize how they feel. It takes an empathetic pet sitter to know exactly how a pet under their care behaves. That’s how they’ll get to properly know what your pet needs. Is you pet acting up because they need a walk? Are they hungry? Or are they just craving some attention?
Another thing to consider in a sitter in insurance. Let’s face it, animals are unpredictable, and accident could happen. Even to the best pet sitter out there. When your sitter is insured, it gives you confidence in knowing that if your pet were to accidentally get injured, they would be taken care of. It shows a very high level of professionalism too!
A trained or certified sitter is a gem! I would definitely feel more confident leaving my pet in the hands of someone who has received formal training on how to properly care for animals. Wouldn’t you? There’s also the added advantage of them having received training on emergency pet care, so you know they are in safe hands.
How do I Hire a Pet Sitter?
The first thing to consider when hiring a pet sitter is proximity. I personally insist on hiring a pet sitter near me. This is convenient because of my irregular schedule and late working hours. With a sitter who lives near me, I don’t worry about the time or needing their services on short notice. So firstly, reach out to those near you.
Before you hire a pet sitter, look for referrals from fellow pet owners. This saves you a lot time and energy.
If you have no referrals, go to your local newspaper, local notice boards or online. Find a few, preferably professional sitters and compare prices. The next step would be interviewing the potential sitters. This will help you get a real sense of who they are. It would also be the perfect time for them to meet your pet so that you can see first hand if they get along or if your pet is repulsed by them.
Once you find your perfect match, draw a contract. Things are always better when put down in writing. It makes it clear what’s expected of each party leaving no room for error or confusion.
There are and have always showed unbridled cruelty to animals. That said, you must be thorough in the process of selecting the right pet sitter. An empathetic animal lover will be sensitive to your pets needs and will almost always prove to be the best fit.
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The information we offer is educational in nature and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis or treatment. Our recommendation is to always do your research.
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