Having a pet sitter means much more than topping up their food and water bowls! A professional pet sitter should spend quality time with your pet. Moreover, they should help give your pet the exercise they need. In addition to caring for your pet, a good pet sitter will help deter would-be robbers. They achieve this by making the house look occupied. For example, they may take in the mail, bring in/out your rubbish bins, and water your plants. The pet sitter may also switch the lights on or off to give the appearance of someone being home. So how do you find a pet sitter that suits your needs?
How do you find a pet sitter? Tip #1: Ask for referrals from friends and family
The first place you should look to find a pet sitter is your friends and family. Trust is the single-most important factor when deciding on which pet sitter to hire. After all, you're giving them the keys to your house while you're away! In order to have peace-of-mind on your holiday, you need someone who is ethical and trustworthy. Further, that individual needs to be reliable and keep their promises!
It is important to note here that while a person is trustworthy, there are major differences between casual pet sitters and professional pet sitters. Professionals will have a set routine and process for caring for your pet and home. Providing this service day-in and day-out makes them proficient. As a result, they have great attention to detail when responsible for your home and pet. Because they depend on the quality of their service as their livelihood, they are more likely to take it seriously.
Another major difference between professional and casual pet sitters is medical knowledge. Professional, certified pet sitters will recognise when your pet needs veterinary attention. More importantly, having pet first-aid training could mean the difference between life and death! In an emergency situation, they should be able to provide pet transport to bring them to the nearest pet hospital.
Asking for referrals from friends and family is the first answer on the question "How do you find a pet sitter," but it is certainly not the only one!
How do you find a pet sitter? Tip #2: Ask for referrals from professional pet services
Pet service providers should be well networked with other professional pet sitters. Consider asking your pet groomer or vet for suggestions. Alternatively, you may contact local dog trainers, pet shops, or the RSPCA. Usually, professional pet sitters will make an effort to be connected to these service providers. Since they are likely to hear feedback on a regular basis, they should be able to help you find a pet sitter you can rely on.
How do you find a pet sitter? Tip #3: Look up aggregate pet sitter websites
Finally, there is of course Google and aggregate websites. One major advantage of using this method for finding a pet sitter is that you can look up their online reviews. If they have had hundreds of reviews and rate well in their star rating, you can feel more confident in their abilities.
Another advantage to using aggregate pet sitter websites is that they usually provide a list of services and availability. You can often make bookings directly, saving you time. In addition, with access to a list of local pet sitters, you can easily make comparisons.
Are they right for you?
After you have shortlisted a few professional pet sitters, you'll want to meet them face-to-face. Having a personal rapport is very important in any relationship! Further, you want to make sure that they get along well with your pet. Observe how your pet behaves around the pet sitter. If they are comfortable and friendly, this is a good sign! Or, if they are unusually anxious and timid, they may not be right for you.
Finally, don't forget to check out their terms and conditions. While this is an afterthought for most people, you want to make sure that your pet sitter is adequately covered should anything bad happen. Having insurance certainly gives additional peace-of-mind!
How do you find a pet sitter that is right for you? There are lots of resources! You can ask your family and friends. Or, you can ask your local pet service providers. There is of course online methods which allow you to easily compare your options. Finally, consider if the pet sitter is a good fit for you and your pet.
If you would like to learn more about our pet sitting services, feel free to contact us for a meet & greet!