It’s summer and unfortunately Fido can’t always come with us on vacation. We all want to find a pet sitter who will love our pets like we do. Here are some tips on how to find a really good one.
Leslie Eufrazio who runs Pet Services by Leslie in Franklinton, North Carolina, sent the following suggestions for dog owners looking for a pet sitter:
- Get and check at least five references.
- Be sure the pet sitter has professional affiliations, i.e.-PSI (Pet Sitters International) or NAPS (National Association of Pet Sitters). These organizations offer seminars and newsletters that help pet sitters provide knowledgeable and ever-improving care for pets. Memberships can be evidence that the business has some permanence in the community. Other memberships such as Chamber of Commerce are good too.
- Ask the sitter what he or she would do in the case of illness or inclement weather?
- Choose a service that promises to spend a set minimum amount of time with your pet.
- What pets does the sitter own? (Leslie would only want “real dog people” caring for her Rottweilers.)
- Why did the sitter get into this business?What did they do before? (In addition to being “animal people,” the sitter should come from a background that promotes excellent judgment and communication skills.)
- Is the service bonded? Licensed (if required in your area)?
- Is the sitter insured with a policy written specifically for pet sitters?Does it include “care, custody and control” of your pet and belongings; and re-keying of your locks if your key is lost or stolen?
- How are the employees selected? These people will be entering your home; is a criminal background check done annually on each one?
- Always insist on a get-acquainted visit with the sitter prior to your trip. Schedule this well in advance; a reputable, successful pet sitter does not squeeze you in to his or her schedule.
- At the get-acquainted visit, does the pet sitter ask to see shot records?
- Does he ask good questions about your pet’s feeding, exercise, and clean up requirements; and get detailed information regarding where you can be reached?
- Does he get the number of a friend or relative, in case of emergency; as well as your veterinarian’s number and the pet’s medical history?
- Learn up front what else is included in the fee. Will they bring in mail, change lights, rotate blinds, or water plants?
- What are the extra costs? Some services charge for the get-acquainted visit or charge an initial registration fee. Some charge extra for each pet over a certain number.
Pet sitting is a specialty service tailored to meet your pet’s individual needs. If you have only a couple of pets, and are seeking to economize, a pet sitting service may not be your best option.
For the rest of that great article check out DogOwner’s World– it’s a great little blog site.
A great info-graphic on Picking a pet sitter .