While many doggie daycare and boarding facilities have lot’s of pampering perks, they may not be ideal for your pet. Maybe you’re out of town for a weekend or you have an extra-long day of work and don’t want to have to kennel your baby.
At WagBrag, we understand that thinking completely. That’s why we put together this blog post of tips to use to find a qualified and professional pet sitter. This works equally well for dogs, cats or any other furry animal you call your own.
Ask Your Vet
One of our staff members found a dependable pet sitter at her veterinarian’s office. It turns out that one of the vet techs on staff regularly house sat for clients. The best part of this, is that she had a pet sitter with medical experience – this was especially helpful since her black lab, Jake, had developed kidney disease.
If you don’t have a ready-made vet tech for a pet sitter, ask your veterinarian who they would recommend in your area.
Friends and Family
Talk to your friends and family members who have pets and have had people take care of them while they’re away. Word of mouth is the best recommendation because you can find out positives and negatives before you hire someone.
Obviously, asking questions in an interview for a pet sitter is very important. Something you will want to know from your prospective pet sitters is whether they have commercial liability insurance coverage and whether they’re bonded against theft.
Check with the web site at the Humane Society of the United States because they have a comprehensive list you can use when you’re doing your screening.
While this alone will not guarantee you a good experience with a particular pet sitter, knowing that the person you pick is certified by the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) or Pet Sitters International (PSI) can give you peace of mind.
Professional dog sitting companies are springing up and becoming very popular. Rover and DogVacay are two such companies. They claim their business is booming and they are spreading across the U.S. (DogVacay operates in Canada too). When you visit their websites, you can search for a pet sitter in your area and you have the option of the keeping your pet at the sitter’s house or at your home.
A Trial Run
If you’ve ever contemplated hiring a babysitter for your children and had that person come into your home to interact with your kids, you can do the exact same thing with a pet sitter.
Invite them over for coffee and cookies and see whether your pets gravitate to them and how the pet sitter interacts with them. Seeing this first hand will give you the peace of mind you are looking for when you can’t be home.
Also, it may be best to try out your pet sitter during a short weekend trip to see how everyone gets along before booking the sitter for that two week long Italy trip.
In case of Emergency
What happens if your sitter was to have a personal emergency while caring for your pet? Confirm that the person / company you use has a back-up plan in place.
Hiring a pet sitter does not have to be difficult and, once you find the perfect person, you’ll be set for whenever you’d like to get away.
Photo Credit: istockphoto.com