Choosing the right pet sitter for your pet is crucial to your pet’s well-being and safety. If hiring a pet sitter is something you’re thinking of, for now or in the future, here are some things to think about.
You are entrusting your fur baby to a pet sitter, whether your home or a pet sitter’s home – consider these when choosing this option over a kennel.
Find Your Perfect Pet Sitter
- Qualifications and Training
During your Meet and Greet with your potential pet sitter, ask about past experience, what types of pets she’s cared for, and whether she’s completed any special training – such as Pet First Aid Training, and CPR. Additionally, if your pet has any special needs or behavior issues, the sitter must feel comfortable managing them while you’re gone.
- Insurance and Bonding
Your pet sitter should be able to provide written proof of commercial liability insurance (in case of accidents) and, if the pet sitter is coming to you, should be bonded (to protect against theft). You shouldn’t hire a pet sitter into your home that isn’t Bonded and Insured. Not only does the insurance cover pet accidents it also covers property damage and lost keys and re-keying.
How will the pet sitter communicate with you while you’re away? Professional pet sitters will record daily notes about your pet’s activities, eating habits or mood. Others will send you digital photos or daily text messages to put your mind at ease.
- Services and Fees
It’s important that you’re both on the same page about what’s expected, and the fees involved. How many visits will occur each day? At what times and for what duration. Will the sitter provide grooming or walking services? Will she clean up accidents, water plants or do any other vacation care responsibilities (like bringing out your garbage)? Will she bring your pet to a veterinarian in an emergency? Also, if you’re delayed can the sitter care for your pet until you’re able to get home?
- References and Interactions
Your sitter should provide you with references if you ask for them. In addition, the sitter should interact with your pet prior to your trip.
- Medical Release Form
In New York State, an attending veterinarian can’t treat a pet without their owners permission. A very important document that is often overlooked because people think, ..well what can happen? Dogs especially can be unpredictable in their reactions to the stimuli around them in a new environment, as well as other dogs they just don’t like for who knows what reason. A professional pet sitter will have you sign a medical release form in the event of an emergency so that your pet can get medical treatment if it’s necessary and you’re not present. Unless you have signed forms filed with your own vet, expect a professional pet sitter to ask you to sign a medical release form.