When you must go out of town and cannot take your precious pet, you must find a temporary caregiver. Pet sitters are professionals who are qualified to care for pets by providing food, water, and attention to animals when their owners can’t be there. Follow these tips to find the best pet sitter so your animals will be in excellent hands.
Step 1: A pet sitter will come into your home while you are away so select someone who can be trusted. A qualified professional is the best choice because this individual can identify whether the pet develops an issues that requires attention from a veterinarian. Ask the vet, friend, neighbor, animal trainer, or local humane society for a recommendation. Pet Sitters International and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters can help find local pet sitters.
Step 2: Before choosing a pet sitter, conduct an in-person or telephone interview of each candidate. Ask about the training the individual has received and whether he or she is bonded against theft and has commercial liability insurance in case of negligence or an accident.
Step 3: When explaining medical conditions, routines, and preferences of the pet, make sure the pet sitter takes notes. Find out whether the individual is associated with a veterinarian.
Step 4: Ask about the backup plan if the pet sitter should become ill or have transportation issues while caring for your pet. If the person will be living in the home during your absence, inquire about the specific times that he or she will spend with the pet. With live-out care, ask how the pet sitter will verify that you have returned to the house.
Step 5: Find out if grooming, play time and dog walking or training will be provided, if applicable.
Step 6: Request telephone numbers for other customers who can serve as references and call these to get more information.
Step 7: Have a prospective pet sitter meet your pet and watch the interaction to determine whether the animal seems comfortable. Begin care by having the pet sitter take over for a short trip and extend the care time if all goes well.
Step 8: Leave plenty of food and supplies and provide a neighbor with a key to the home and the telephone number of the pet sitter. Give the sitter the telephone number of the neighbor.
Step 9: Show the sitter where the home security system and circuit breaker box are, for safety reasons. When looking for a pet sitter during holidays, make reservations early. Keep your pet’s vaccinations current and always keep identification tags on the collar of the animal.