In honor of Professional Pet Sitters Week (March 3 to 9), the folks at DogVacay offer the following tips for finding a reliable pet-sitter:
1. Interview your potential pet-sitter, and have your pet interview them, too. Not only should the pet-sitter meet your expectations upon your meet and greet but they should also get the stamp of approval from Fido. The sitter’s interaction with your pet is incredibly important. Watch to see if he or she pets your dog, offers your dog water or a treat and seems warm and loving. These first reactions can be a vital sign to you as to how they will treat your pet while you are away.
2. Ask for References. Possibly the most important piece of the pet-sitting puzzle is calling other pet owners and getting their feedback. Do your homework, and you’ll feel better with whatever decision you make knowing that you spoke with fellow pet owners who’ve been in your position.
3. Cover the basics. No matter how trivial you think your questions are, you deserve to know the level of expertise and enthusiasm of your pet-sitter. For example: how many pets have you cared for? What will your typical day look like when you’re caring for my pet? How many times will my dog be taken out for walks?
4. Don’t be afraid to tell them too much. In order for your pet-sitter, your dog and you to have the best experience it’s crucial that you tell them anything and everything about your pup. Maybe it’s that he doesn’t like the mailman, or needs to take medication. Anything related to your pet’s health, dietary restrictions, personality and mannerisms is something you should tell your potential pet-sitter before leaving your dog in their care.
5. Check in with Fido. After your dog is back in your care, is your pet happy? Agitated? Angry? Relaxed? Scared? These are all things that play into your pet’s experience with the pet-sitter and will give you a peek into what their day was like. If they’re not acting like themselves, it may be time to look for another pet-sitting option.
DogVacay helps pet owners find local pet lovers to care for their pets while they’re away. For more information, visit dogvacay.com.