It’s Professional Pet Sitters Week and we need to take a minute to thank ALL the excellent pet sitters out there who watch our beloved furry friends when we (gasp) can’t take them with us on trips. Leaving our family behind is never easy, but professional pet sitters make it so much less stressful–for our dogs and us. Want to know how to find a pet sitter for your dog? Read on and find out!
They can’t go with? What gives?
The reality is that not many of us really have gone very many places in the last year and honestly? We’ve been with our doggos 24/7, which is a win-win if you ask us (and them)! But, as people slowly start making travel plans again and work expectations may demand trips without your BFF, people are looking for pet sitters to come into their homes and care for their dogs. Many prefer their dogs to be comfortable in their own surroundings rather than kennels, and for this, pet sitters are perfect. Whether they come and stay the whole time, or they just come on regularly scheduled visits, a great pet sitter can give your dog and you peace of mind.
How to find the best pet sitter?
Honestly? You can probably find tons of people to ‘sit’ for your dog. There are apps, neighborhood groups, sitting companies and more.
But how do you know they’re the best? How do you know they’re the best for YOUR pup?
Here are some ways to find that special sitter:
- Crowdsource your own network. Ask on social media or your neighborhood groups for personal experiences from those people you trust. Those are the best recommendations because you know the quality of care your network expects, and their reviews and recommendations will be priceless.
- Ask your vet. You trust them with your dog and odds are they have people THEY trust with THEIR pets. Not to mention, it’s always a good idea to have a vet on backup in case there is an emergency and someone your vet recommends personally is likely to be trusted and dependable.
- Consider apps that provide care. Some popular ones are Wag and National Association of Pet Sitters. Those sites will also help you decide what level of sitting you’re looking for, and how to find the perfect sitter for what you need. It’s always a good idea to have a list of questions to ask prospective pet sitters. Some will be specific to your dog and your needs, while others are pretty generic. They include:
- Are you insured or bonded? (It’s a good idea to make sure the answer to this is, “Yes!” if you’re planning to be gone for anything more than a night or so. It shows commitment to the occupation of pet sitting.)
- What happens if my pet misbehaves? What is your behavior management style?
- What’s your experience with my dog breed?
- What types of animals have you worked with before?
- May I run a background check?
- Do you have a working relationship with other pet professionals? Groomers? Trainers? Vets?
- Do you have any formal or informal training in pet care?
- Do you have references?
- Have you ever been accused of animal cruelty?
- How long have you been in the industry?
- Do you use contracts?
- Will you meet with me and my pet in advance?
- Do you know how to spot signs of emergency?
- Do you have a backup plan for my dog if something happens to YOU? (Get the deets on that one!)
We know, it seems pretty personal and specific but this is your baby we’re talking about here and you want to be sure he’s in the best hands! Be upfront about your dog’s needs. If he’s a high-maintenance, high-energy good boy, let the sitter know that. And look for one who likes that level of activity too. It’s not fair to your dog or the sitter to disguise your dog’s behavior to find a sitter.
No pet sitter should have any issue with being interviewed or meeting before, and if you don’t feel comfortable about the expectations you have and what you think they’re going to give, you can feel okay finding one to fit your needs. Nothing is worse than being away from your pet and worrying about how he’s doing.
Ways to keep your pet sitter happy
When you’re gone, you want your dog to be happy. You don’t want them to be anxious or missing you too much because that anxiety and missing you may make it harder for your sitter to do a really great job and bond with your dog. Our dogs DO miss us when we’re away, so setting them up for their best digestive health with Perfect Poop is a great way to keep your dog and your sitter happy.
Because that’s the gist of it. If your sitter is happy, it’s going to be so much easier for them to help keep your dog more comfortable too.
Be sure to leave really detailed instructions, extra food, information about what to do in case of an emergency and alllllllllll the treats.
Additionally, keep all the vet records and info a vet may need (including an emergency vet if after hours for your regular vet) and leave them info on how your dog behaves on the regular. Keeping their guts healthy with Bernie’s Perfect Poop will keep their bathroom habits nice and regular, and help keep them feeling their best too. That’ll mean lots of catch they can play with the sitter.
Heck, you might find your dog loves his sitter so much he’ll be packing for you to take a few trips more often! And if honest, isn’t that what you want? For them to be just as comfortable when you’re not together as when you are is really the goal, isn’t it?