Hiring a Pet Sitter
No pet owner would like to leave their pets at home without any companion when they go out of town. However, these situations cannot be avoided since taking your pet along with you sometimes cannot be possible. In such cases, hiring a pet sitter is the best option for you and your pets. We will discuss the advantages and benefits of hiring a pet sitter. And why this is the best choice for your best friends.
The pet sitter vs. boarding dilemma
Let us take a look at different options in caring for pets while we are away from them. These options are only down to hiring a pet sitter or leaving our pets at a boarding facility. We will discuss why hiring a pet sitter is the better choice in this kind of situation.
Advantages of choosing a pet sitter
Pets stay at home
The first-ever advantage of choosing a pet sitter is that your pets can stay in their own home and can stick to their own routine. No need to change something. Depending on your pets’ characters, they might find staying in a boarding facility really stressful. Hiring a pet sitter can avoid this instance and you will be able to relax while you are away and your pets won’t get stressed and nervous.
Reduced risk of getting sick
If you choose to leave your pets in a boarding facility, they are more likely to get sick due to exposure to other animals who probably are infected. This is usually called “bordetella” which is common for dogs since they come back with highly contagious symptoms that include fever, lethargy, and cough. This is an upper respiratory infection that will require you to visit a veterinarian and would prescribe you antibiotics for your dogs. If you leave your pets with a sitter, you will be able to avoid this risk.
Like us, human beings, our dear pets can experience separation anxiety too when they are away from us. This is more likely to happen when they are left in a boarding facility and separation anxiety is commonly experienced by rescued pets. Even though most boarding facilities have quality playtime for your pets that can relieve anxiety, a pet sitter can provide them with more attention since they are only focused on your pet. With this, they will feel less stressed out.
Pets can feel stress whenever their atmosphere and schedule change. When you leave them in a boarding facility, they will feed and care for your pets according to their schedule. When you hire a pet sitter instead, you can inform them of your pet’s own schedule and they will follow it accordingly. Then can feed your pets, take them for walks and other activities based on their own schedule. Doing this and keeping them on their own schedule will help them feel calmer.
One more advantage of hiring a pet sitter is increased communication. Hiring a pet sitter will provide you with updates through emails, text messages, or personal calls. You can have peace of mind and will help you relax while you are away.
Pet sitters can multitask
When you hire a pet sitter, they will be able to do other household chores while you are away. Then can, of course, take care of your pets while they also take care of your house. Leaving your home with a pet sitter can also avoid thefts. They can also check the mail, water the lawn and do small household tasks if needed. This is for an added fee of course. But, this is another good option for you when you hire a pet sitter. We suggest discussing this with your pet sitter if you decide to let her/him do other things like household chores.
Your pet is in good hands
When you hire a professional pet sitter, we assure you that your pets are in good hands. Professional pet sitters are certified by the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters and Pet Sitters International. This means that they have complete knowledge of the health and behavior of pets and have received first aid training. The first aid training they have received would help them know the difference between emergency and non-emergency situations and they would also know how to react. The complete attention they would provide for your pets would let them notice your pets’ unusual behavior and will be able to act on it immediately.
Hiring a professional pet sitter can help you determine the level of service that would suit the needs of your pets. If the health of your dog only permits a few walks per day or if he is more comfortable having someone stay with him the whole night, the pet sitter can measure their services to you and your pet’s needs.
You can hire your pet sitter anytime. Instances like you’re having a busy work week, your hired professional pet sitter can come by in the afternoon to give your dog a walk. Another thing is that if you’re going out of town for a long time, you can absolutely rely on them and that you are sure that your pets are well taken care of.
Hiring a professional pet sitter would not require you to transport your pets to a facility, dropping them off and picking them up at a specific time. Also, it would not require you to have your neighbor, friend, or relative check in on your house while you are away.
Pet sitter vs. travel
Many of our dear pets fear traveling so it is not ideal to take them on vacation with you. They are not used to new surroundings, also fear change and experience anxiety. Leaving them with a pet sitter is a better solution than bringing them to travel with you.
Pet sitter vs. friend or relative
Remember that a friend or a relative would not be a good choice to leave your pets with since they probably are not as experienced as a pet sitter. If they insist on taking care of your pets while you are away, ask them questions such as: Will you remember to care for them, walk them and feed them on schedule? Do you have experience in taking care of pets when they are sick? Even if they are offering to take care of your pets for free, it is still much better to hire a professional so that you will have peace of mind and can also relax while you are away.
Things to ask your pet sitter:
- Ask them what kind of training have they accomplished such as pet first aid or CPR courses.
- Ask them will they come to your home before your departure to meet you and your pets.
- Ask them how they will communicate with you during your absence. Will it be through email, text, or call?
- Ask them if the pet sitter is a member of a professional association such as Pet Sitters International.
- Lastly, ask them what other services do they offer such as mail and package retrieval, light rotation, or even plant watering.
What to look for in a pet sitter’s skillset
A professional pet sitter will meet with you at your home to discuss all your pet care and home care needs. During the free consultation, your sitter will ask questions about feeding, medicine, and exercise schedules. In addition, the pet care professional will want to learn about any behavioral issues your pet may have (food or leash aggression, shyness, fear, reactivity), behavior habits, potty habits, and any other aspects that make your pet a unique being. The sitter will also provide you with peace of mind by taking the time to answer your questions, providing you with a service contract that clearly explains the pet sitter/client relationship, and being detail-oriented.
Of course, not every pet sitter is reliable and you should do a background check on them. We also suggest hiring a professional pet sitter that you can get from Pet Sitters International (PSI), the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS), and/or Pet Sitters Associates. We do not suggest hiring off someone from an app.
Characteristics of a Great Pet Sitter
Here are some characteristics that you should look for when you choose the best pet sitter for your furry friends:
Knowledgeable and skilled
Pet sitters you may find in apps or websites are not certified, usually not trained, and are not also background checked. If you hire from a reputable and professional local pet sitting company, they will always require certification, specialized training, and background checks.
You should hire a pet care professional with a calm demeanor since pets will act in different and unexpected ways that can make them impatient or angry. If you hire a pet sitter who is calm, can maintain composure in this kind of situation and does not lose their temper, it would make the situation a better experience for both you and your pets.
Responsible and trustworthy
If you hire a pet sitter, the person would likely be alone in your home. It is essential to hire someone you can absolutely trust so we greatly suggest running background checks on the person before you hire them. Another thing to consider is that they should also be responsible. Professional pet sitters can be reliable and will take responsibility for their work. This is their career or their small business so they take it very seriously and with all their dedication. You can be in great hands since they will take care of your pets to the best of their abilities. You cannot find this dedication when you are hiring an amateur pet sitter so we suggest hiring a professional one.
Trained and experienced
Keep in mind that you should hire a professional pet sitter who also has the right kind of experience. It is better if you hire someone who has experience with pets who are sick in case your pets have illnesses or have a current medical condition. You would want to hire someone who has dealt with pets in the same situation. Furthermore, professional pet sitters understand the different personalities, needs, and quirks of your pets and they will know how to gauge and measure their services based on their experiences.
If you hired a professional pet sitter, you chose someone who can properly administer medication on your dogs or cats and they would also know how to look for signs of illness. If you hire an amateur pet sitter, they will more likely miss the warning signs.
People who are employed through apps are often not insured. Insurance is needed in case something goes wrong. These apps you could see are much more interested in protecting themselves rather than their employees and of course, their customers. In case an emergency happens, most pet carers will carry insurance policies that will protect them, their client’s pets, and their client’s homes.
Specifically about cats: benefits of hiring a professional cat sitter
Cats can be fickle or unstable creatures for their dear humans. Most cats would just want to stay home dozing their days away and would rather have a staycation instead of being with you on a vacation. They are mostly homebodies and would much prefer the comfort of their own zone. So, hiring a professional cat sitter to watch over your pet cats in your own homes is the perfect choice for you, your cat, and your home too.
Professional cat sitters provide peace of mind
If you hire a professional cat sitter, you have a great choice since they are serious about their job and they are also serious about taking good care of your cat and your home. One thing that is excellent about them is that they are bonded, insured, and also trained in emergency first aid and Pet CPR.
A lot of professional cat sitters completed education and have certifications to prove that both your home and your lovely cats are well taken care of. While taking care of your cats, they will also take care of your homes and make sure that everything is working well while you are away.
In addition to taking care of your beloved cats, they will also collect your mails, newspapers, and packages while you are on your trip. They will protect your home and will also place out the trash and recycle them for pick up, rotate lights, and also open and close the curtains.
Professional cat sitters help keep your beloved cats safe
Your beloved cats still need daily human interaction and mental stimulation even though they mostly are self-sufficient. Cats are curious creatures and they always land in puzzling situations. Keeping them mentally stimulated is one of the services that one professional cat sitter can do. They can play fun games and activities with your cats. They are aware of what kind of situation a cat can get into when they have left home alone and they can take precautions to prevent dangerous situations and injuries. Hiring a professional cat sitter would prevent cats in a locked bedroom and being stuck in a certain blind.
Professional cat sitters care about your cat
Professional cat sitters may care for many cats but they know each cat by name and what each prefers to eat. They are professionals and they care for each cat equally. Your beloved furry friend is also part of the professional cat sitter’s extended furry family. They are really serious about taking care of your cat just as seriously as you are. For a professional cat sitter, this is their passion and profession and not just a hobby.
What are the benefits of hiring a long-term professional pet sitter?
Of course, you want to make sure that your pets would be just as comfortable and happy as you are while you’re away and you can’t take your pets with you. You may ask a favor from your friend or your neighbor to look after your pet. Although they are your friends, they may be unreliable in taking care of your pets.
You will have a valuable relationship based on trust and care
You don’t want to trust an unreliable stranger and leave your pets to them. We know that trust is developed over time. This is the same trust you give to your hairstylist and your mechanic. They know your own taste and your car. You would also want a pet sitter who would know your pet’s needs and comforts. When you work with a long-term pet sitter, it can create a connection and friendship who can care for your pet as enthusiastically as you do. They can become one of your family too.
Your pets will be more comfortable and happier around the same sitter or team of sitters
Both cats and gods live based on their habits. They are used to being around their family and their owners and some can be wary around new people and strangers. They can be unpredictable even to you when they are exposed to new people. If you hire the same professional pet sitter, your beloved pets can see them as friends who are paying a visit. They won’t have a hard time adjusting to each person when you hire a long-term professional pet sitter. The good outcome of this is they will be even excited to play with them and receive treats from the same person.
Your professional pet sitter knows your pets and your homes by heart
A professional pet sitter and when they enter through your door, they will immediately ask questions about your pets. They would also ask for your service preferences in taking care of your furry friends, and your home.
They will offer time to learn your pet’s personalities, their likes, dislikes, fears, and the best ways to comfort them while you are away. Your pet care professional will make sure that treatments are done in the right way and they will administer proper attention if your pet has medical issues.
They will also ensure that they closely follow their feeding and medication schedules. You can also relax while your sitter watches over your home. They can take care of small problems and can alert you if there are any huge issues that need your attention. Both your pet and your home will be taken care of by someone with who you can be comfortable.
No surprises and you can have peace of mind
It can really be intimidating to hire a new pet sitter and not be aware of what to expect. You may be worried while you are on your trip instead of relaxing and concentrating during your trips. If you hire a long-term pet sitter whom you have trusted several times, you are aware and know exactly how they do the work. You can be at ease knowing that they have the skills and knowledge to handle any kind of circumstance and that your pet is also enjoying their days and nights with them. We are sure that there will be nothing wrong when you come home from your long trip.
Save time and money
A professional pet sitter will of course charge you more than a friend or a stranger from an app. However, you will be saving money as time passes by. This can be a good investment. Hiring a long-term professional sitter will not require you to browse the internet, call businesses, and schedule meetings to find a new pet sitter every time you leave. You won’t have to worry anymore while you are gone when you have a trusted professional. You also don’t have to come home to any surprises that may add up to more charges to you.
How do I know if the pet sitter I wish to hire is in it for the long term?
Here are some questions that you can ask your professional pet sitter to know if they are also for the long-term. You just want the best for you and your pets so picking a long-term sitter that can fit your needs is a delicate process.
- How long have they been active and in business? Being a pet sitter is not a job that can be handled by everyone. Most of them quit before the end of their first year. A pet sitter who has been around for more than a year would usually be still in the job and would come with more experience and knowledge.
- Do they have a professionally designed website? If they have a good website that shows their experiences in the job, it’s a sign that they take their job seriously and want to have the best service for you and your pet. A professionally designed website is an investment and an indication of long-term commitment.
- Do they run a proper business? Do they charge the sale’s tax? If they show a legitimate business model, it shows that they are real professionals. They are devoted to their work and are concentrated on being successful.
- Do they charge higher than average for their services? If they have higher service rates than others, it can mean that they are more experienced and already have an established reputation. This can help you decide who to choose and know those that have less pet sitting experience.
- Do they have specific policies in place? If they have policies and a service agreement to safeguard clients and themselves, it means that they are smart business owners. Be sure that you are getting someone who is really committed to their work.
- Do they take vacations occasionally? Yes, this question is also essential. Any person should value self-care in order to avoid burnout and compassion fatigue. They should also be aware of this and should also take time for themselves in order to provide the best care to your lovely pets.
- Are they doing this full-time or part-time? A part-time pet sitter is usually someone who is just beginning in the industry. You should hire a full-time sitter depending on the needs of your pets. Hiring a full-time pet sitter could be much more important so they could provide your pets with the best care.
- Does your pet sitter have a certification in pet care? Professional pet sitters will pursue an education that fits their field. This is the same as someone who is pursuing medicine who wants to be a doctor. You would want to hire someone who has the needed skills to take care of your pets and your home.
- Do they belong to an organization like Pet Sitters International or Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council? These organizations are both composed of dedicated and passionate pet professionals. They are experienced and they also provide the highest level of pet care for your beloved cats and dogs. If they are a member of any of this organization, you would know that they are indeed invested in their work.
Leaving your home and your beloved pets can make you anxious and unrelaxed. Letting a stranger into your home while you are away is of course a difficult decision. You can avoid the troubles of hiring a pet sitter each time if you find the right professional pet sitter for you and your pets. Your pets will be comfortable if they are already familiar with their pet sitter. They can enjoy someone who knows what they like and their own schedules. You can relax if you know your home is well taken care of by a professional who takes taking care of pets really seriously. You can also save money and time by hiring professional pet sitters and you can also trust them since pet sitting is their profession.
Results and benefits for the pet owners
- Hiring a professional pet sitter can also help you have peace of mind knowing that your pets are well taken care of with a schedule designed by you.
- You do not have the worry and trouble of getting your pets and supplies to a boarding facility.
- If you hire a professional pet sitter, you are confident that they will be able to handle all situations that may take place.
- Your professional pet sitter is insured.
- The professional sitter will take your pets to a veterinarian when they need medical care.
- Your home will also be taken care of.
- Your home will be free from possible thefts since your professional pet sitter will regularly visit your home.
- You do not have to ask your neighbor, friend, or a relative for a favor.
- You will be welcomed by healthy pets and well taken care of home when you come back.
We greatly suggest hiring pet care professionals since they are knowledgeable and trained experts that can give your pets the essential care and attention that they need. If you are going out of town, kindly consider hiring a pet sitter so that you will feel relieved while you are away from home.
Now that you have knowledge about the advantages or benefits of hiring a professional pet sitter for your lovely pets, please do not hesitate to ask us some questions about things that are unclear to you. Please do contact us by sending us an email or calling us. We will be waiting and we will gladly answer your queries.