Hiring a Pet Sitter can be your best option if you need to be on a trip or a weekend getaway. Because reality-wise, you cannot bring your pet anywhere you go as much as you want. And being away from your beloved pet can be frustrating, especially if you must leave them with a stranger. Hence, ensuring you can entrust your pet to someone reliable is essential to enjoy your vacation with peace of mind. We will discuss some questions to ask a pet sitter, so kindly read along.
A pet sitter’s job is not that easy. The person looking after your pet while you are away must always be attentive. Hence, a face-to-face interview is an ideal option so you can talk to them and discuss important matters about your pet. Remember that looking for a pet sitter is something you should not rush.
That’s why it would be best to take your time in knowing your pet sitter by asking these essential questions:
1. How do you work?
The first step to know what kind of pet sitter you hired/or are just about to hire is to know how they work. This question is prevalent in pet-sitting and many jobs like office work and management work. Knowing a person’s work ethic is essential, so don’t hesitate to ask. Moreover, it will let you know if you will like how your pet sitter operates. Pet sitters have different ways of working, and pet owners have different standards. That being the case, knowing this information about your pet sitter is important from the very start to avoid problems in the future.
Let your pet sitter explain how he/she usually does the job with further probing questions:
● Will the pet sitter meet your pet before the actual sitting day?
Because most professional pet sitters have this policy wherein they will require to meet the pet first for the pet to know them, this strategy is beneficial for your pet so they can adjust and familiarize themself with their sitter. Your pet won’t be shocked when you leave them alone with the sitter. Also, this is going to be beneficial for you so you will know right off the bat if your pet can get along well with the sitter. If yes, you will have your mind at ease while you are away. If not, you will have enough time to look for another sitter.
● Will the sitter watch your pet in your house or home?
Some pet owners prefer that the sitter stays in their house to watch the pet so it doesn’t have to adjust to the environment. But still, it is best to discuss this with the sitter to know how they usually work and see if you can agree on the same pet-sitting setup.
● Will your pet be around other pets?
Some pet sitters have other clients and take care of different pets all at the same time ( this can happen if you allow your pet to stay with the sitter’s place ) If this set-up is okay with you and you think that your pet is ready and friendly enough to get along with other pets, then there will be no problem. But if you think otherwise, let the sitter know immediately. Pet brawl is pretty standard in mixed pet sitting set-up, and you surely don’t want to receive a call from your sitter about pet-fight news while you are on vacation.
Also, ask if there will be a contract agreement. However, this is usually done by a professional pet sitter. A most experienced pet sitter will bring a contract to your meet-and-greet session. There you will feel the essential topics about the job, the fees and their preferred payment type. In return, ask the sitter if they want a written profile about your pet so they will have a guide. For example, a list of what your pet knows and doesn’t know, like following basic tricks for dogs such as roll-overs, sitting when asked to sit, and things like that, will help the sitter know how to treat your pet well.
2. What are your Pet Sitting experiences?
Adding to questions to ask a pet sitter is what are their pet sitting experiences? Having experience in pet sitting is very important. You cannot just hire anyone who will tell you they have a passion for caring for pets. Moreover, even if the sitter has their own pets, that alone can’t be enough experience. Because their pet can be easy to handle for them since they are the owners, but taking care of a pet that is not yours is a different story. Hence, anyone who doesn’t have numerous experiences in pet sitting other’s pets doesn’t even consider hiring them.
Now for an experienced sitter, it is best if they can tell you their experiences with the following:
● What are the types and breeds of pets the pet sitter already cared for?
This is important because what if the expertise of the sitter is taking care of poodles while your pet is a cat?
● How long has the sitter been doing the job?
Consistently the longer the experience, the better. But, even if the sitter has, let’s say, six months of experience but the sitter is highly recommended by someone you know, then maybe it is worth the try.
● What are the sitter’s challenges in handling pets, and how did he/she manage them?
This is a reasonable basis because being able to handle critical situations is a sign of being knowledgeable in their work.
Knowing this information will let the pet owner know how efficient the eligible pet sitter is. For example, did the sitter already experience having the pet escape under their watch? If so, how does the sitter handle it, and how often does it happen? Know these important details because this is a big factor to consider when hiring a pet sitter.
3. Do you have business credentials and Pet Insurance?
This question is to know if you and your pet are fully protected. A professional pet sitter that has a business license usually has insurance. So in case of an accident, for example, your pet got injured, or damage to your home was made while in a pet sitter’s care, you and your pet are well protected and covered.
Moreover, professional pet sitters often require ID tags and leashes. This will help pet owners’ minds at ease knowing that the sitter has extra precautions in safetying their pet.
4. How do you handle needy pets?
Let’s be realistic, some pets are extra needy! Some dogs and cats love to have a longer time for cuddles. And it is best to find a patient and loving sitter to look after your beloved pet if they are one of the attention-seeking kind of pet. So make sure that the sitter knows your pet’s behavior and needs. For example, your pet loves throwing its paws up, whining, and jumping on you just to get noticed also, if your pet has specific fears of thunder or anything that can trigger their fears, like too much noise.
Another thing, other pets have their unique hiding places. This usually happens when the sitter watches your pet in your house. Since your pet knows all the in and outs of the house, having a special hiding place is easy for them. Make sure to let your sitter know about it to avoid unnecessary panic.
A knowledgeable and experienced pet sitter will most likely know how to handle these situations but still let them know everything that can help them.
5. Do you undergo training?
Proper training is not just something professional pet sitters in a pet sitting business do. Serious pet sitters are more likely to undergo CPR and behavioral training. Whether your pet is a normal pet or a pet with special needs, having a well-trained and knowledgeable sitter is very important, especially during unexpected accidents and emergencies. You better ask your pet sitter what they do in an emergency.
Having unexpected circumstances are indeed inevitable. There may come a time when your pet becomes sick while under the sitter’s care, and that happens. Hence knowing how the sitter handles this situation is important. Ask your sitter if they have experienced medical emergencies, how they handled them, and what the outcome is.
It is also a plus if your sitter can provide references. Testimonies and reviews from the sitter’s current and former clients are constructive to know how the sitter works. Employers would love to know the applicant’s previous work information, like any other work, so don’t hesitate to ask.
We’re here to help!
We hope you learned about questions to ask a pet sitter. Indeed, your pet’s safety is paramount. If you want to know more about Pet Insurance, our team can help you. Contact us here at Team AIS in Denver, CO! We are happy to provide you with all the information you need!