With many people looking for more ways to make money, it seems that they are turning to pet sitting as an option. Pet sitters are those who either go to the client’s house when they are not home to care for their pets, or watch the pets in their own home. They may specialize in a single type of pet – cats, or dogs for instance – or they may branch out into special niches such as farm animals, exotic animals and so on. When you are searching for someone to take care of your beloved pet – whether it is a walk on lunchtime when you are held up in the office, or full overnight service when you are out of town – there are important factors that you must keep in mind.
Experience is Golden (not the Retriever!)
Many times, pet sitters will tell you “Oh I’ve had years of experience watching and caring for my own animals.” This doesn’t necessarily qualify them to be a pet sitter. For one thing, it is not clear exactly how they treated their own animals, and secondly, what are they trained to do in an emergency? These are questions you should ask – if something was to go terribly wrong with your pet while you were out of town, how would your pet sitter handle it?
Believe it or not, many people who are pet sitters or offer pet sitting services do not know the first thing about emergeny pet care. This is a major mistake, because it can mean the difference between life and death in some instances. Choose a pet sitter who is certified in animal CPR – yes, there really is such a thing!
Don’t Monkey Around! Seek a Pet Sitter with a Plan
One thing that is also very common is the facts that many pet sitters stretch themselves thin, thinking that they can service many animals in a single day. While it is possible to watch several pets over the course of a day’s time, you want someone who is not stretched thin and will not miss an appointment to feed your dog or cat. Ask potential candidates what their schedule is like and when you can expect them to show up. If your pet needs medication, for instance, you will need them to show up on schedule, every time. Does their schedule allow for that? If not, you are better off seeking someone who is.
It is important to check references; you need to know that the person you are hiring has had reputable experience in pet sitting before. Don’t settle for just a single reference, ask for three. A single reference might send you to a friend who is coached to respond to your questions while three references will almost ensure you get in touch with those who have experienced your candidate’s pet care services.
This doesn’t mean you can’t hire someone who is new to pet sitting, but they should have some pet care background. Perhaps they worked in a vet’s office or have verifiable references at the local shelter where they volunteer, this is excellent background. Your pets are your babies, why should you trust them to just anyone?