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 really cannot bring your pet everywhere you go as much as you want to. And being away with your beloved pet can be frustrating especially if you need to leave them with a stranger. Hence, making sure that you can entrust your pet to someone reliable is a must so you can enjoy your vacation with peace of mind.
A pet sitter’s job is not that easy, the person who will look after your pet while you are away must be attentive at all times. Hence having a face to face interview is an ideal option so you can talk to them and discuss important matters about your pet. Keep in mind that looking for a pet sitter is something that you should not rush.
That’s why it would be best to take your time in knowing your pet sitter by asking these important questions:
1. How do you work?
The first step for you to have an idea of what kind of a pet sitter you hired/or just about to hire is to know how they work. This question is very common not just for pet sitting jobs but also in many kinds of jobs like office work and management work. Asking this is essential in order to know a person’s work ethics, so don’t hesitate to ask. Moreover, it will let you know if you will like the way your pet sitter operates. Pet sitters have different ways of how they work, and pet owners have different standards too. 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 first before the actual day of sitting?
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. That way, your pet won’t be in shock when you left 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 then you will have your mind at ease while you are away, if not then you will have enough time to look for another sitter.
● Is the sitter going to watch your pet in your house or your home?
Some pet owners prefer that the sitter will just stay in their house to watch the pet so the pet doesn’t have to adjust to the environment as well. But still, it is best to discuss this with the sitter to know how they usually work and see if you both can agree on the same pet sitting set-up.
● Will your pet be around other pets?
Some pet sitters have other clients and took care of different pets all at the same time ( this can happen if you allowed 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 common 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 a vacation.
Also, ask if there will be a contract-agreement. Although 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 important topics about the job also the fees and their preferred type of payment. 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, things like that that will help the sitter know well on how to treat your pet.
2. What are your Pet Sitting experiences?
Having experience in pet sitting is very important. You cannot just hire anyone who will tell you that they have a passion for taking care of pets. Moreover, even if the sitter has pets of their own, 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 experience in pet sitting other’s pet, don’t even consider hiring them.
Now for an experienced sitter, it is best if they can tell you their experiences for 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?
Always the longer the experience the better. But, even if the sitter just 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 challenges the sitter had in handling pets and how he/she managed it?
This one is a good 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 many times does it happen? Make sure to know these important details because this is a big factor that you need to consider in 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 pet sitter’s care, you and your pet are well protected and covered.
Moreover, professional pet sitters often required 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 if you can 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 love to throw their paws up, whine and jumps on you just to get noticed. Also, if your pet has specific fears for thunder or anything that can trigger their fears like too much noise. Another thing, other pets have their special hiding places. This usually happens when the sitter is watching your pet in your own house. Since your pet knows all the in and outs of the house, having a special place to hide 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 kinds of situations, but still, let them know everything that can help them.
5. Do you undergo training?
Having proper training is not just something that professional pet sitters that are working in a pet sitting business do. Serious pet sitters are more likely to undergo training like CPR and behavioral training. Whether your pet is a normal pet or pet with special needs, having a sitter that is well trained and knowledgeable is very important especially during unexpected accidents and emergencies. That being said, you better ask your pet sitter what do they do in the event of an emergency?
Having unexpected circumstances are indeed inevitable. There may come a time where 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 in the past, how they handled them, and what is the outcome?
It is also a plus if your sitter can provide references. Testimonies and reviews from the sitter’s current and former clients are very helpful to know how the sitter works. Just like any other work, employers would love to know the applicant’s previous work information, so don’t hesitate to ask this matter.
We’re here to help!
Certainly, your pet’s safety is very important. If you want to know more about Pet Insurance, our team can help you. Contact us! We are more than happy to provide you all the information that you need!