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6 Pro Tips to Find a Pet Sitter You Can Trust

As a devoted pet parent, our fur-kids are cherished family members, and their well-being is priority number one. So when you have to be away from home, a trusted pet sitter becomes their guardian angel. Finding the right one is crucial and requires some time upfront to find that perfect match. But this is a worthwhile task and your diligence will truly pay off in the end, for you and your beloved pet! There’s nothing quite like peace of mind while you are away.

We’ve put together a few quick tips to help guide you in the pet sitter search process:

ASSESS Your Pet’s Needs

Understanding the unique requirements of your pet is essential as your begin your search.

  • Does your pet have special dietary needs?
  • What level of exercise does your pet enjoy?
  • Will your pet need medication while you are away?
  • Does your pet have separation anxiety?
  • Are there health conditions that need consistent monitoring?

 

Every pet sitter provides a different range of services so understanding your pet’s needs is the foundation for finding a pet sitter who can meet those requirements. Some pet sitters even specialize in pets with medical conditions or senior pets. If you want that extra layer of care, seek out pet sitters who offer the specialty you are looking for.

ASK Your Community

Turn to your trusted sources such as friends, family, or neighbors and ask who they have used as pet sitters. The power of “word of mouth” recommendations remains tried and true. Personal recommendations often provide peace of mind, coming from trusted sources who have experienced the pet sitter’s services firsthand.

If you need to broaden the pool a bit to seek out recommendations, you can use social media to get more information and ask a broader audience. Post in a local Facebook group or ask on Next Door and plenty of your neighbors will post links to reputable pet sitters.

INTERVIEW Potential Pet Sitters

After getting basic preliminary information on recommended sitters from their website, set up an interview. Ask questions to assess their qualifications, experience, and compatibility with your pet (and you!). You can use this pet sitter interview checklist (provided by Pet Sitters International) to guide the initial conversation.

Be sure to inquire about bonding and insurance. For additional peace of mind and added protection, hire a pet sitter with proper insurance coverage to protect both you and the sitter in case of accidents or unforeseen incidents. Bonding insurance provides coverage in case the pet sitter damages your property, steals from your home, or fails to perform agreed-upon services. Bonding insurance provides a level of assurance that the pet sitter is trustworthy and has been vetted by the bonding company.

CONDUCT Your Research

Verify a pet sitter’s credibility by checking references and reading reviews. Use multiple sources for reviews, whether on Next Door, Facebook, Instagram or Google. Many pet sitters have a presence on these sites where you can also get a sense of their business “personality” and culture.

Want to go a step further? Contact references to gain insights into the sitter’s reliability, professionalism, and the level of care they provide.

MEET In Person

Ready to take it to the next level? Arrange a face-to-face meeting (“Meet & Greet”) with potential pet sitters to evaluate their demeanor, interaction with your pet, and whether they share your pet care values. Vibe check!

Use this opportunity to observe how they interact with your pet. After all, it’s not hard to spot a true animal lover! Meeting in-person will give you the chance to assess their professionalism as well – punctuality, dressed neatly, prepared, courteous, etc.

During the Meet & Greet, you’ll have the opportunity to cover important details face-to-face:

  • Rates and services: Clear the air on rates and services upfront to avoid any confusion later. This includes discussing the duration of services and any additional charges for extended hours, weekends, and holidays.
  • Policies and procedures: Dive into payment methods, cancellation policies, and how to reserve their services.
  • Emergency planning: Plan for unexpected situations like weather-related emergencies or injury/illness. Discuss emergency procedures thoroughly.
  • Pet(s)’ routine: Paint a detailed picture of your pet(s)’ routine and your expectations while you’re away.
  • Frequently asked questions: Take the chance to ask any additional questions to ensure everything’s crystal clear.

TRUST Your Instincts

Go with your gut! Intuition plays a significant role in the decision-making process. Trust your gut feelings about a pet sitter and choose one who makes you feel confident and comfortable. In the end, it’s not always the extensive list of qualifications that guides your choice. Sometimes, you simply go with the one you connected with the most, or the one your pup loved. If you’ve done your research and feel confident entrusting your pet’s care to this person, then you’ve made the right choice.

Finding the perfect pet sitter is essential to ensure your pet’s happiness while you’re away. With these tips to help you along, you can confidently choose the right caregiver and relax knowing your furry friend is in good hands.

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