These days, especially in urban and suburban environments, pets truly are part of the family. Responsible pet owners would no more cut corners with the care of their pets than they would with their children. They need good caretakers to watch over their pets when they can’t do it themselves. (And sometimes, neighbors aren’t able or willing to help take care of pets.)
If you are a pet owner, how do you find this special person? These tips will help guide you:
- Start with the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (800-296-PETS) or Pet Sitters International (800-268-SITS). These organizations will not only show you who is sitting pets in your area, but also give accreditation for pet sitters who demonstrate competence in practical care and ethics.
- Interview the potential pet sitter in person, and have your pet present. Observe how the sitter interacts with your pet. Does your pet behave comfortably around this person? Is the potential sitter at ease around your pet? Someone who is used to taking care of birds, for example, may be wary around a large dog, or a reptile.
- Does the potential pet sitter have references? Does he or she carry commercial liability insurance to cover accidents? Is he or she bonded to protect against theft? A criminal background check is a good idea as well.
- Does the pet sitter know a veterinarian who can provide emergency services, if yours cannot?
- What can the sitter do for your pet? Regular exercise? Grooming? Play time? Medical maintenance? Remember, you are hiring someone who will take care of your pet just the way you do when you are home.
- Will the sitter agree to a written contract, agreeing to the time served, activities performed with your pet, extra services (such as bringing in the mail, newspapers, and packages, watering plants, etc.)?
- Can the sitter provide back-up in case something goes awry (illness, transportation trouble, emergency)?
- Is the sitter available for contacting at all times during the time you are away?
- Did you check JobQuotes.com? JobQuotes is the site for those who need professional services performed the right way. Take a look at the listings on the website, see which professionals look best to you, check their JobQuotes ratings, and let them know what you need done. You will find the pet sitter that you and your animal will be glad to have in your circle!