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How Do I Select Right Pet Sitter?

Selecting the right pet sitter is somewhat like choosing the right babysitter for your child. There are so many factors to consider, and you wouldn’t hire just anyone to care for your kids.IMG_1252

One of the most important factors to consider is whether the pet sitter is in your area, and provides the type of service you and your pets need. Do you know whether you need vacation pet care, daily dog walks, overnight pet sitting, or someone to visit with your pets for a few hours?

Trust will be the next most important consideration in choosing the right pet sitter. You need to hire someone that you trust. After all, the pet sitter/dog walker will not only be caring for your pets, but they will have access to your home.

Most reputable pet sitters will require a meet & greet before accepting you as a client. Likely that will be the only time you meet the pet sitter. From then on she will have a key to your house, a security code and your trust that she’ll do the job as promised. When you are interviewing pet sitters, really think about whether the person you are going to hire is someone you trust.

In general, pet sitters will all cover the same basic tasks in their service: walking the dogs, feeding, refreshing water, etc. But is “basic” or “standard” service really what you’re looking for when you’re selecting a great pet sitter? How will the pet sitter ensure your pet’s happiness and care for their well being?

Insurance is another important factor in choosing the right pet sitter. You’ll want to make sure the pet sitter is insured, and it’s your right to ask for proof of insurance. Knowing if the pet sitter carries insurance will help you discern whether the pet sitter is a real professional or just a hobbyist. A professional pet sitter will hold insurance that includes liability, care-custody-and control, and adequate property coverage.

What special needs do your pets have? Do they require medications, special handling, mobility tools, special diets? You’ll want to ask the pet sitter about whether they can, and how they will handle these special considerations. Ask how they handle medical emergencies, as well.

What special services does the pet sitter offer? Do they bring in the mail, water plants, take out the garbage, tend to the security of your home? Do they charge extra to water the garden?

How would they handle situation emergencies – including anything that could happen to your home while you’re away? Ask about extra fees, holiday rates, cancellation policies, etc.

You’ll want to ask about communication too. You will probably want updates on how your pets are doing. How often will the pet sitter communicate with you when you’re away?

When you’re preparing for a trip, especially a long trip, be sure to ask if more than one pet sitter will be tending to your pets. In the case of working with a reputable pet sitting service, you will usually have the opportunity to meet your pet sitters at the Meet & Greet. Any new pet sitter staff assigned to your services will often be required to meet with you before they work with you.   Don’t be afraid to ask the pet sitter about whether they work alone or hire help during the busy times.

When you’re searching the internet for a pet sitter, first look for someone within your area. Consider the pet sitter’s experience with animals. How long have they been in business? What did they do before pet sitting? Do they carry any special training or credentials – like pet first aid training? Don’t select a pet sitter solely on price, or just because they are available at the last minute.

Once you choose a pet sitter and you are ready to contact them, be detailed about your pet care needs. Have your questions ready. It’s important to also know your travel dates and preferred pet sitting or dog walking schedule. (How many visits per day do your pets need?) All of this information will help your preferred pet sitter to create a care plan for your pets.

Our FAQ page has more information if you have additional questions about how Around Town Hound Pet Care Service can help you.

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