Hiring a pet sitter can be stressful and anxiety-inducing — your furry friend is a vital part of your family and leaving them behind is tough enough. Will the pet sitter care for them as much as you do? Will they turn on their favorite radio station and play their favorite games? You will often have so many questions and concerns that your upcoming trip may prove to be more stressful.
The Vet Set understands your nerves and wants to help get you through the initial steps of finding and hiring the best pet sitter. Navigate this topic with us today and be armed with the knowledge to choose the best pet sitter for your furry friend!
When you’re in the hustle and bustle of planning your trip your mind is elsewhere and sometimes you forget to ask your usual people to watch your pet, but don’t panic, there are pet sitters available for this very situation! A pet sitter is an animal enthusiast who often has a background in veterinary medicine or animal care — some do it as a side hustle and some do it as a full-time career. Many pet sitters have their own business and their own pets — they’re empathetic to the stress time away from your pet can place and want to help ease your anxiety.
Sure, it may not be difficult to find a pet sitter, but it may prove to be hard to find one that you really like and trust your pet with. The best thing to do is to give yourself some time and really get to know different dog sitters and dog sitting businesses.
One of the best ways to find a great pet sitter without much legwork is to ask around. Ask your neighbor, people at the dog park, or the vet at your animal health clinic — chances are, the people around you have recommendations or staff members at the vet may even do it on the side.
If you’d rather go with a well-recognized pet sitting company instead of by word-of-mouth, you can search online with various pet sitting databases. Though these companies do a great job of vetting their sitters, always take it a little further and look more into depth and look over their resumes and qualifications. It may also prove to be useful by inquiring about the company’s bonded and insured policy, so you know exactly what happens if something were to happen to your home or pet while you’re away.
This option may take more time, but begin to grow your pet community by connecting with other pet lovers in your area. Frequent dog parks and attend doggy play dates, or if you have a cat, join a cat community online. The more pet lovers you meet, the more people you have in your potential pet sitting network.
If your pet lives a pretty normal life and is healthy, you can typically hire a standard pet sitter. If you have a pet with health needs you may need to look into someone with specific qualifications.
What needs of your pet are required? Do they need insulin injections or do they need to be let out more frequently? Consider any extra care and talk with the pet sitting company or person to ensure they can meet your pet’s requirements.
Every company and pet sitter will have a different set of fees and policies, so it’s important to be on the same page together. Be clear about your expectations and then ask for an estimate. Pet sitting fees can include the following:
To find the most reasonable fee, compare prices with different people and companies in your area. While fees can vary, pet sitting base fees begin around anywhere from $15 to $75 per day.
Do you tip a pet sitter?
Tipping is never a requirement, but all pet sitters appreciate the gesture. If you’re working with a national company, keep in mind, the pet sitter only receives a portion of the overall cost so a tip is very beneficial, while a freelance pet sitter pockets the entire bill. Other options aside from a cash tip would be a small souvenir or gift from your travels.
Stay in Communication With Your Pet Sitters
Upon choosing a pet sitter, have the person come over before your departure for a good introduction to your pet. Let them play and hang out and get a good feel for each other. Also communicate where everything is located — pet food, toys, leashes, and medicine.
Most pet sitters understand your anxieties of leaving your pet, and while you don’t have to check in all the time — that could get annoying — it is important to arm your pet sitter with the ability to get a hold of you should something were to happen. Provide the following information including:
If you absolutely need to check in, call a couple times a week or invest in a pet cam where you can watch what your pet is up to while you’re gone (it’ll most likely be sleeping).
Finding and hiring a pet sitter who fits your needs and is the best companion for your pet is tough but when you ask for recommendations, look into a professional company, and begin to build a pet community — pet sitter options abound!
Give your pet the best when you hire the best!