7 Steps to Hire a Top-Notch Pet Sitter

Your pets mean the world to you, so leaving them behind while you’re traveling is never easy. Not only will you miss them, but packing up all their essentials, loading them into the car and heading to the kennel can be stressful for you both.

But cats and dogs alike do much better staying in their own, familiar environment. So why rock the boat when you could hire in a pet sitter instead? Just take these steps to find the perfect pal for your pets and get peace of mind knowing your four-legged family members will be well cared for:

Define your needs. Before you begin, take a moment to think about what kind of services you’re looking for. Do you want someone who will just check in and feed your pet a couple times a day, or do they need overnight care in your home? Do you expect your pet sitter to take your pup to the dog park, or will a walk around the block do?

Ask around. To start off your search, ask friends, family members or even your veterinarian who they’d recommend. But, before you take their suggestion seriously, make sure they’re talking about a qualified and trustworthy pet sitter.

Turn to the pros. If you’re hitting a dead end with suggestions from your circle, check out the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters or Pet Sitters International. These sites will show you options of real, licensed pet sitters in your area. Plus you’ll get a list of their credentials and skills so you know exactly what you’re getting into.

Initiate an interview. Once you’ve landed on a solid option, it’s time to set up a face-to-face interview. Suggest meeting for coffee and go over the basics. Tell them about your needs and ask them questions like “how long have you been pet sitting?” “Have you had any formal training?” “What would you do in the event of an emergency?” Etc.

Check their references. A good pet sitter will have a list of satisfied clients you can connect with to ensure they’re capable of watching your furry friends. Do your research — it’s worth the time now to ward off any worry later.

Test them out. Never shake hands on it until you know your pet will be comfortable with their potential sitter. Arrange a time for them to meet and see how they interact. It’s important that both the pup and the pro get along — after all, they’ll be spending some time together and you want them to be happy!

Sign a contract. Once you’ve finally landed on a trusted pet sitter, it’s time to agree to the rules. If you’re hiring a pro, odds are they’ll have a contract for you to look over. Study it carefully and make sure you’re comfortable with all the services and charges before you sign. And remember to keep a copy for your records.

Leaving your furry friends can be difficult, but knowing you’ve got a top-notch sitter watching over them can help ease any worry. So take these steps and enjoy your time away knowing your pets are covered!


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