How to Choose the Best Pet Sitter

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If we could take our pets everywhere we go, we would, but that simply isn’t realistic.  So often we have to leave our pets at home for longer than a few hours, and just that fact alone has pet owners everywhere frantic with the question, “Who’s going to watch my ____”?  As a pet owner, you do everything you can to make sure they are safe and happy, and you would want the same in a pet sitter.  So how do you know that you are asking the right person to take care of your pet?

If you are like so many pet owners who despise the idea of boarding, finding the right pet sitter is so important.  Here are some tips to make sure you are trusting the right person(s).

1. Word of Mouth – Start by getting recommendations from other pet owners that you see at places like the dog park, vet’s office, neighbors with pets, friends, family, and co-workers.  Chances are at least some of them have used a pet sitter and can provide valuable insight into who is good and who is not.

2. Do your Homework – No matter who you think you may choose, do some background checking to ensure they have a reliable pet sitting history.

3. Choose People Affiliated with Pet Trade Associations – A professional pet sitter should be affiliated with one of the major trade associations that represents their industry, such as the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS).

4. Know what Your Needs are – It is very important to know exactly the type of pet sitter you require.  For example, does your dog or cat have an illness that will need to be tended to?  If you choose a pet sitter with experience dealing with that illness, your pet will be in better hands.

5. Conduct an Interview – Even after all of the research you have done and recommendations you have gotten, you should always conduct an interview with the potential pet sitter to ensure he/she is the right match for you and your pet.  Here are a few of the questions you should ask during the interview:

  • What will happen if the pet sitter experiences car trouble or becomes ill?  Do they have a backup?
  • What training has the pet sitter completed?  For example, do they know pet CPR?
  • Will the pet sitter provide related services such as in-home grooming, dog walking, dog training, and play time?
  • Will the pet sitter provide references?

Choosing the best pet sitter will help both you as the pet owner and the pets to have the safest time away from each other, so make sure to do your homework.

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