4 steps to finding the right pet sitter
Unfortunately, sometimes our pets just can’t come with us when we go away. In these cases, options include boarding facilities, having your pet stay somewhere else or having someone come and look after your pet. This week, we’re exploring pet sitting and the process to find the right pet sitter.
Deciding on a pet sitter is a big responsibility. You’re going to leave your furry family member in their care for days if not more. So it’s essential to make sure your pet sitter is responsible and capable! This may feel a bit overwhelming so to help we’ve come up with four essential steps to finding the right pet sitter.
1. What do you want
First and foremost you need to decide what kind of pet sitting you are looking for.
There are quite a few options;
Are you looking for someone to stop by twice a day to feed your pet and briefly play with them?
Are you looking for someone to stay at your house and be around your pet all the time? If so, are there other things you expect of them like watering plants, taking in the mail etc.
Are you looking for your pet to stay with someone at their house?
When you are considering these options, you’ll be taking into account the needs and preferences of your pet. Are they happy being left alone for long periods of time? Do they get lonely and crave constant interaction? These preferences will help you identify which option is right for you and your pet.
2. Ask around
There are many pet sitting sites out there that you can go on and find a pet sitter but the best way to find a pet sitter is through your network. Ask your vet, friends with pets, groomer. If someone you trust has used a particular pet sitter and had a great experience, I’d be trying to get a hold of them. Sometimes you won’t know anyone who has used a pet sitter or maybe you do but they wouldn’t recommend the one they had.
No need to panic – you can still go on sites and find one.
It’s best to start your search early so you give yourself enough time to find someone suitable rather than having to rush as this limits your choices. Especially if you don’t have a personal recommendation, you’ll need to set aside some time to do reference checks on your potential pet sitter. In this situation, you’d do these after completing step 3 but before step 4.
3. Ask the right questions
When you’re coming up with questions to ask a potential pet sitter you want to cover off two things:
The pet sitter’s abilities – what do you need to know about their abilities to be comfortable leaving your pet with them?
The pet sitter’s ability to meet your expectations of pet sitting – are you wanting a daily update on your pet? Do you want them to do other things around the house?
Make a list of these questions and ask them.
You might want to ask what type of pet sitting they normally do? Do they drop by or stay? Do they have experience looking after your type of pet? Does your pet require medication to be given? Does the pet sitter have experience and is confident doing this? Do they have a car to transport your pet to the vet in an emergency?
Don’t forget the basics like how much they charge, how long their visits are etc.
Like any interview, this is a two-way conversation. While you’re asking questions to determine if the pet sitter is right for you, the pet sitter should be asking questions to determine if this assignment is right for them.
4. Meeting with your pet
Once you’re comfortable with the idea of leaving your pet with this particular pet sitter, your pet needs to meet them. Invite them over to the house and get them to meet your pet. Allow them time to get acquainted with each other. If you have a dog, you could then go for a walk and let the pet sitter take the lead. How do they interact? Are you comfortable?
Keep in mind, some animals take longer than others to come around to a new person.
If your pet is shy, it may be worth doing a couple of meetings so they have more time to get used to the pet sitter.
Unsure what notes or instructions to leave your pet sitter?
We are currently working on our detailed, digital record for pets covering off all their important information. This also provides all the relevant information for a pet sitter.
Launching in August this year, you will be able to access, edit and share your pet’s record with pet sitters, kennels and catteries. Interested?
Read more about our digital product and sign-up to our Product Waitlist to be notified when it’s available. We won’t spam you.