3 tips to finding the pawfect pet sitter for the festive season
Essential factors to consider when finding someone to look after your furry members of the family when you're away.
When it comes to finding the right pet sitter, you can’t leave anything to chance. With the festive season around the corner, now is the best time to start preparing for the holidays. Many of us are eagerly awaiting some well deserved time away. And as much as you deserve the upcoming holiday (after dealing with the hardships of 2020), your precious pet also deserves to be looked after by someone who is kind, caring, and responsible.
Whilst neighbours, friends and family can be helpful, it’s always best to find a professional pet sitter to provide your pet with reliable care. A professional will do more than stop in every other day to fill up your dog’s water and food bowls, they will also keep an eye on your home, collect any mail or deliveries to your home, water your plants, walk your dog and provide your pets with daily care and attention.
So, without further adieu, here are our top 3 tips for finding the pawfect pet sitter for your fur babies.
1. Figure out what your requirements are
Before you begin your search for the right pet sitter, you need to first figure out what kind of services you require. If you are on holiday for a few weeks, then you might need someone more hands-on, perhaps someone who stays in your home with your pets.
Or maybe you only need someone who offers drop-in visits and afternoon walks. It also depends on how much care your pet needs. Does Bruno need a daily walk and constant care? Or is Whiskers more of an independent cat who just needs a daily check-in and food fill up?
Does your pet have any medical requirements, in which case, he or she needs daily medication and attention?
Write down a list of duties and responsibilities you would like your potential pet sitter to fulfil to ensure you can find someone who meets your needs.
If you are not comfortable with someone staying in your home, you can also find pet sitters who board your pets while you’re away.
Like any professional service, you need to be prepared to spend some money in order to ensure your pet is in good hands.
2. Find the right person for the job
Whilst it might seem easier and certainly cheaper for you to ask your neighbour’s kid to help look after your pet while you’re away, going this route is not always the most reliable option.
When choosing a professional service or person whose sole purpose is to look after other people’s animals, then you get what you pay for. You also don’t have to worry about late-night phone calls from the neighbours when your pet is howling for food or love because the teenager you got to help you out didn’t show up.
There are a few ways you can find the right pet sitter for the job:
- Chat to your vet - Your vet is likely to know of a network of pet sitters in your area. Simply give your vet’s office a call and ask the receptionist who they would recommend for the job.
- Chat to your friends - Ask your family, friends and neighbours if they know of anyone in their circle that they might currently use for their own pets.
- Check out community groups - Community Facebook groups are a great way to find a pet sitter who other people will recommend.
- Check out professional services - A quick Google search will reveal some great pet sitting agencies near you. Here are some with the best reviews that we found:
3. Interview your top picks
Now that you have compiled a list of your top picks for pet sitters, it’s time for you to ensure you have found the right person for the job. It’s a good idea for you to arrange a meet and greet with your top picks to get an idea of how your pet responds to this person and how much of an animal lover this person really is.
For this interview, you should compile a list of questions - Don’t forget that this is basically a job interview. Find out about this person’s previous experience or how they might handle a crisis with your pet.
Before leaving your pet in someone else’s hands make sure they are aware of the following:
- Emergency numbers to call (your number, another number plus the number of your holiday destination)
- Your vet’s number (check this out: When should you take your pet to the vet? 6 basic warning signs to keep an eye out for)
- Pet insurance details and claims process for emergencies
- Feeding requirements and schedule
- Walking and exercise requirements
- Any do’s and don’ts for your pet: E.g: Bruno doesn’t like tummy rubs but loves a back scratch.
- Local parks to take your dog to for walks
- Medical requirements for your pet
- Any house rules to know and follow (i.e. alarm system, entering and leaving the property, keys, security tips etc.).
Read this: 11 Foods that are not for furry friends!
And finally, HAVE A BACKUP!
Don’t forget that you can’t predict when things go wrong, but you can plan for when they do. Which means that you should have a backup pet sitter should an emergency come up with your designated pet sitter. This is where a friend or a neighbour might come in handy.
Check out this expert read: How To Deal With Pet Health Emergencies This Festive Season
Yours in quality pet insurance you could cuddle,