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Want to Hire a Pet Sitter? 6 Things You Need to Know

Find out the essentials before you hire a pet sitter!

Did you know that most people who have pets and want to go on a vacation or leave their homes for longer periods of time will hire a pet sitter? This is the easiest way to know that your pet is safe and being taken care of while you are away. But how do you find a good pet sitter? Are there any things you should know?

Well, there are a few things that can help you, and we are here to share them with you. When you first hire a pet sitter, this whole process may seem overwhelming. You want to find the best person who can take care of your pet, and this can be truly nerve-wracking.

Get ready to learn some important tips from the experts before you spiral out of control. Hiring a pet sitter is easier than it might seem!

hire a pet sitter
Photo by Branislav Nenin from Shutterstock

1. References are the most important

When you want to hire a pet sitter, you want to find someone who has a lot of experience and can make you feel safe while you are not there with your pet. You want someone who will love your companion as much as you do, and we can completely understand this because we would want the same.

What can help you in this case is to find a person who has many references. When you know that they did a great job wherever they have worked before, you can be more relaxed, as they will probably take great care of your beloved pet.

For example, there are pet sitters who want to visit your house and get to know your pet before they remain with them alone. In this way, the pet sitter will adapt to your pet’s behavior, and your pet will also become more familiar with the sitter.

So, you can start asking around and see if any of your friends and acquaintances know any good pet sitters. Also, you can use Google, and once you find someone, read all of the reviews.

2. Set some rules

One extremely important thing you should know before you hire a pet sitter is that it is a good idea to have a contract. All pet parents want their pets to be safe, and a contract can be a good way to set some official rules.

In this contract, there will be some rules set by you and also some rules set by the pet sitter. For example, there are many pet sitters who don’t want to work with dogs that are aggressive or that are not well trained.

On the other hand, pet owners want to make sure that their pets will be treated well, which is why they can set some rules in the contract. There are many horrible stories about pets that were left in a crate all day long by the pet sitter, and no one wants this to happen to their pet.

A contract is a good way to make sure things will be okay, and it is your chance to tell the pet sitter more about your needs. It is an amazing idea, and it can cut down on bad experiences and stress.

3. Pet sitting vs. pet boarding

These are two services that, even if they have the same purpose—taking care of your pet while you are not there—are totally different. It is very common for people to mistake pet sitting for pet boarding and the other way around.

Pet boarding involves bringing your pet to a third-party facility where they will stay as long as you want them. These services are amazing, and most of them are like vacations for your pet. They will have included walks, spending time with other pets, playtime, massages, and so on.

On the other hand, when you hire a pet sitter, this person will come to your home to take care of your pet. They will walk your dog, feed your cats, or do anything else that is necessary, but the pet will remain in your home.

4. Look for professional pet sitters

Considering that pet sitting is not a regulated field, it can be rather hard to find a suitable person to take care of your pet. This is why it can be a good idea to hire a pet sitter who works for a professional company.

When you work with a professional, it will be easier for you to contact them, there will be better customer service, and you can also be sure that they are better trained. Even more, since the pet sitter is part of a business, you can be sure that the company background checks its employees. This means it might be easier for you to trust the person you are about to let into your home and look after your pet.

If you want to find a good pet sitter, try looking up the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters website, as they have information about accredited pet sitters, and you will have a good idea of where to choose from.

hire a pet sitter
Photo by Daniel Megias from Shutterstock

5. Start with a meet-and-greet

Sometimes you manage to hire a pet sitter that you think is suitable, but in the end, it turns out that your pet doesn’t find them compatible. This is a scenario that can happen, and hopefully, there is a solution that can help you avoid it.

You can talk with the pet sitter and schedule a meet-and-greet. This is a great chance to see if they get along with your pet, and you will also be able to see them face-to-face ahead of time.

If the pet sitter refuses this meet-and-greet, this is not a professional move, and it might be better to try to find another one who accepts it. Also, if your gut feeling is telling you that something is not okay, don’t be afraid to listen to it and make a decision based on it.

6. Ask questions without being afraid

Before you hire a pet sitter, one thing you should do is interview any potential candidate. This will help you decide if they are the right fit. And when you are doing this, you will need to ask questions. This might make many people feel weird and like they don’t know what to ask.

We know that you can find the essential information on the website where you have found the pet sitter or on their profile, but as we already said, meeting them face-to-face can help you make the right decision.

Now we want to give you some examples of questions you can ask your potential pet sitter: “Do you have any pets of your own?” “In case my pet has an emergency, what are you going to do?” “What kind of pet-sitting experience do you have?”

Besides the questions, it is a good idea to try to understand what is included in the service. Also, you might be interested in what their schedule looks like. You will want to know about their availability, and this can help you decide if they are the best fit or not.

When you want to hire a pet sitter, you can make their life easier by leaving them a set of instructions: Pet Sitter Information Sheets

You should also read: 8 Most Common Dog Training Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

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