Pet Sitters 101
Pet Sitters 101
A vacation or work trip is looming, and unfortunately Fido isn’t invited. While your clients are busy packing their bags or preparing a presentation, make sure they also are making plans for their pets. Many people assume pet sitting is as easy as giving the neighbor kid a few bucks to pop by on occasion but caring for a beloved animal should warrant more consideration. Help them make the best decision with these tips.
Who should I hire?
Professional pet sitters are a great option when owners prefer their animals remain at home while they are away for extended periods of time. As a professional, these people are experienced, insured, provide references and often are trained in CPR and first aid.
What should I look for?
Qualifications are key when hiring a pet sitter. Make sure you get proof of insurance, in writing, and ask about the person’s training and experience when interviewing. Some suggested questions from the Dodo.com include:
- Do you enjoy pet sitting?
- Can you meet my pet first?
- How often will you walk my dog?
- Will there be other animals around?
- Can you help with my pet’s special needs?
- How much time can you spend with my pet?
- How would you handle an emergency?
A professional sitter should be enthusiastic about coming to your home and meeting your animal prior to being hired. As a pet parent, it’s important to watch how they interact with your pet and gauge the comfort level of all parties.
Where can I find a sitter?
Personal recommendations from family, friends and your vet are a great way to start! You can also visit the websites of professional pet sitting organizations such as Pet Sitters International or the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters to find sitters in your area.
What about apps?
Smartphone apps like PetBacker and Rover are trendy and easy ways to hire pet sitters or dog walkers. Complete your due diligence about the pet sitters hired by these services to make sure they are properly trained and experienced.
How do I prepare?
You’ve hired a sitter, but you’re not off the hook yet! Pet owners can ease the care transition with a little bit of preparation. The ASPCA recommends providing pet sitters with the following:
- Your contact information (how they can reach you in case of an emergency)
- Itinerary (Let them know when and where you’ll be, especially if you will be unreachable at certain times)
- Emergency contact (someone who knows your pet and can make emergency decisions on his behalf)
- Pet information (all the basics such as age, weight, medications and health issues)
- Vet information (your regular vet and the closest emergency clinic)
- Medication (if possible, go over this in person with the sitter ahead of time)
- Daily routine (food measurements, walk times and more)
- Emergency plan (communicate your preferred plan of action with your sitter)
Relax and enjoy the trip!
Remind your clients that choosing a pet sitter is an important decision, but it shouldn’t take the joy out of traveling. With proper vetting and preparation, owners can trust that their animal will stay comfortable, healthy and ready for a heartfelt reunion when they return.
Covetrus is dedicated to helping dogs achieve happiness and wellness throughout their lives. Visit us online or contact your Covetrus representative at 855.724.3461.
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