If you are a busy professional with a dog at home or need to take a vacation, you may have considered a dog sitting service. You can take a lot of comfort knowing that your dog is being well taken care of by someone who cares about them.
But how to choose a dog sitter, and where can you find information about a dog sitting service in your area?
Today we will guide you through things to consider when looking for a dog sitting service for your favorite four-legged friend.
Why Hire a Dog Sitter?
If you work or plan to be away from your home for an extended period (even in an emergency), you may need a pet sitter. For some of us, finding a dog sitter is as easy as asking a neighbor or a friend to check in on your dogs. For others, however, proper pet care is necessary.
Pet sitters are qualified individuals with a more-than-average knowledge of pet care.
Here are some benefits to hiring a dog sitter over asking a friend for help:
- You don’t have to rely on friends and neighbors.
- Your dog doesn’t have to be boarded – saving you time and money.
- Your dog gets one-on-one attention while you’re busy.
- Professionals can also bring in your mail and check on your house while you’re away.
- Some other services offered are pet grooming and plant watering.
Where Can I Find a Pet Sitter?
These days, there are many ways to find pet sitters online. A quick Google for “pet sitters near me” will get you some results. But beware of shady businesses. You want to make sure you can get REAL testimonials from other people that use their services. Talk to them on the phone and get a good understanding for how they do business. These are the people you allow into your home. You want to make sure they are reputable.
How to Choose a Dog Sitter
Choosing the right pet sitter is all about you and your dog’s needs. It’s not a time to make compromises. So now, let’s discuss how to choose a dog sitter.
What to Look for in a Pet Sitter
First, you want to learn as much as you can about your possible pet sitter’s qualifications and work history. You should interview this person at your home and over the phone.
They should be able to provide written proof of commercial insurance. This covers any accidents that might occur on your property or while out with your dog. Do they have any training? They should provide proof of that too.
Next, you should discuss a backup plan. If your dog sitter becomes sick or can’t get to you, what are the alternatives?
Once the details have been worked out, ask about a contract. An experienced dog sitter will have a standard contract. If they don’t, that’s a red flag.
Lastly, ask for references. They should have current or past clients that can vouch for their reliability.
When you decide what dog sitter you want to hire, be sure to start with a probationary period (one day or one week). You want to make sure you’re comfortable, your dog is comfortable, and that the dog sitter is comfortable. If at any time you feel like something isn’t right, let them know.
How to Best Help My Dog and Dog Sitter?
Every new change requires an adjustment period. It doesn’t matter how experienced your dog sitter is. Here are some things you can do to make everyone’s life easier:
- During the holidays, make a reservation so your dog sitter can get their schedule set.
- Keep current ID on your dog’s collar.
- Make sure your dog’s vaccinations are updated.
- Your dog needs to be socialized. It will make walking your dog easier.
- Keep your house stocked with extra supplies such as pet food.
- Leave instructions and emergency contact info accessible to your dog sitter.
- Let your pet sitter know about how to secure your home while you are away (such as security systems).
- Set reasonable expectations. If you want photos of your dog regularly, communicate that to your dog sitter.
It’s About Your Lifestyle
Most importantly, choosing a dog sitter is about how well they fit in your lifestyle. You want to get along well and trust your dog sitter. Keep that in mind when you conduct your interview and before you make your choice.
Enjoy your trip and rest easy knowing your dog is being well cared for!