Your pets are your kids, we know! You only want the best for them, and when you’re looking for someone who can provide the quality of care your pet deserves it can be challenging. You also want the peace of mind knowing your home and babies will be safe. We have created a list of the 5 most important things we think you and your pet sitter should discuss prior to hiring them.
1. Are they professional- Now that pet sitting is so popular, most, if not all pet sitters, classify themselves as professional. With everyone calling themselves professional what does it even mean anymore? What does “professional” mean, to them, and to you? You don’t want the responsibility of your pets, home, and all of your personal information in just anyone’s hands.
Our personal definition of professional starts with the phone call and phone interview. They should be easy to get a hold of and state their business name when they answer. They should ask lots of questions about your pets routine, medical history, allergies, likes and dislikes, etc. During your meet in greet they need to be punctual and dressed appropriately. Just like a first interview with an office, the interview with your pet sitter is the same. You are paying good money for a professional and it should be nothing short of that. They should be knowledgeable in the field they are in (animal behavior, signs of distress, what to do in emergencies) and be able to answer your questions in detail. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and ask to see certificates for training and insurance or anything else they say they have. They should be genuine and caring and it should be easy to see they love their job. Your pets will let you know if they don’t like them, so make sure you watch the interaction between the potential sitter and your pets.
2. Are they prepared- When you are hundreds of miles away on the beach trying to enjoy your time away the last thing you want to have to worry about are your babies and home. Just about every pet sitter is insured and bonded now, as they should be. This protects your home, your pet, and passerby’s if your dog gets walked. A few qualifications that are good for pet sitters to have, but are not limited to, might be:
Animal behavior training
- Pet first aid and CPR- This seems to me like a necessity. CPR and first aid really do save lives!
- Workers compensation (if company)-Protecting you if the sitter gets hurt on your property. In Texas this isn’t mandatory for companies to have.
- Emergency preparedness- You want someone to be prepared if something were to happen i.e. terrible storm, flooding, etc. If the sitter has a back up plan in place and is prepared for emergencies it will make vacations a breeze!
3. What do they offer- What do they offer with their pet visits and is there a charge for extras? Most pet sitters will of course feed, play, pick up messes, getting paper/mail, and send you updates or notes left for you when you get back. Some pet sitters offer more and some come with added prices like watering plants, administering meds, wash beds, sweep/vacuum, and walking can all have an additional charge. Want to know How Much Does Pet Sitting Cost? How long do they plan on staying? Average time is 30 minutes. Any more than this you can be charged.
4. Company or Individual- Do you want an individual or company? A company will usually have higher prices (to pay staff, training, insurance for employees, pet sitting software,etc), cancellation and holiday fees, a more extensive new client sign up process, and possibly more strict rules/policies for the safety of your pets. An individual, will usually be found on sittercity, care.com, rover, and other sites where care givers can create a profile. Some even have their own websites. Typically they will have black out dates when they won’t be available due to vacations, illness, etc. Sittercity, rover, and other care giver sites do not provide insurance and bonding and will not be responsible for any issues that arise with the sitter. Please do you research before hiring just anyone from there.
5. Do your homework Last, but not least, how was YOUR first impression? Do they answer the phone when you call, answer all of your questions in detail, transparent, and get along with your pets? In the end it all comes down with how comfortable you and your pets feel around this person or company. Do your homework! Check out their social media accounts, reviews on popular websites like Angie’s List and Yelp, and ask your neighbors on Nextdoor.com to see if anyone has used them or recommends them!
Good luck and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to call us!
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