Searching for a pet sitter that fits your needs can seem like finding a needle in a haystack. You have a goal of finding someone whom you can trust with entering your home and taking care of your pets while you're away or at work. The Internet has made it easier to find pet sitters, but you need more than just a five-star rating on pet sitter reviews. Following are some tips to help you find the right pet sitter for your cat, dog or both.
Ask for Recommendations
Know someone who's used the services of a pet sitter? Ask if they would recommend the sitter for taking care of your pets. And if you don't get anywhere with asking people you know, check with professionals for people they recommend. Veterinarians, animal shelters and even dog trainers are potential resources for recommendations for pet sitters.
Ask About Certifications
Certifications aren't a necessity for pet sitters, but a pet sitter who's taken the time to get certified and insured is one who's serious about delivering quality care for your pets. You get peace of mind knowing that the person who's watching your pets has pet care knowledge that goes beyond cleaning litter boxes and taking a dog for a walk. Look for certifications from Pet Sitters International (PSI) and National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPP).
Make Sure the Pet Sitter can Provide Proper Care
Some sitters are capable of taking care of most pets while others prefer to focus on taking care of dogs or cats only. If you have a multi-species household, you want a pet sitter who has the experience to exercise and walk the dogs as well as tend to the cats. And the more pets you have that need care, the more time the pet sitter has to spend taking proper care of everyone. Look for a pet sitter that has experience and availability.
Have a Meet and Greet
It's important that the pets and the pet sitter are able to get along with one another while you're away. Some pets get along with everyone while others aren't as cooperative. At the very least, you want to make sure the pet sitter learns about the quirks of your pets and can deal with them. If you have a pet that's particularly difficult to handle, make sure the pet sitter you pick is capable of handling behavioral problems.
Find a Pet Care Facility
Sometimes you know you're going to have a long day at work and a pet sitter may not be available to help. Cats are fine as long as they have water, food and a clean litter box, but dogs can't go for hours without relief. A pet care facility offers an alternative so your dog gets exercise and social interaction with other dogs and can relieve itself. Make sure that your dog is up to date on vaccinations and has health care paperwork from your vet before going to a pet care facility.
You want the best care for your pets, but the dictates of life mean you sometimes need help from a pet sitter. Follow these tips to find the pet sitter that is most suitable for your pets so you can rest easy knowing they’re in good hands.