Managing life with a dog or other furry friend gets difficult sometimes. Although we know you’d love to take your pet everywhere, sometimes it's impossible. Instead of boarding their pets, more people than ever are relying on pet sitters to care for their dogs, cats, and other pets when they can’t be home.
Most pets do better when in familiar spaces with people they know. With a trusted and reliable pet sitter, you can ensure your pet's health, happiness, and comfort. But how can someone find and select a reliable pet sitter for the first time? This guide will help you find a reliable pet sitter that you and your furry friend will come to adore.
Where Can I Find a Pet Sitter?
Finding a soul that cherishes your pet as you do is challenging. Therefore, looking for them in the right places is essential. You're letting someone inside your house, entrusting them with your heart (read: your pet), so finding a vouched buddy you can rely on is crucial. Luckily, there are many great places to find a pet sitter.
1. Search Online
The Internet is a great place to find pet sitters. Professional pet-sitting organizations, such as the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) and Pet Sitters International, list members on their sites.
Also, platforms like Rover provide recommendations for pet sitters in your area, and all of them are required to undergo background checks before creating a pet-sitting profile. These websites list trained and trusted sitters, along with rates, experience, and reviews that make finding the right person easier.
As a pet parent, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that you're viewing a credible site for your baby, as the pet sitters you find on reputable online platforms are trained to properly care for your furry friends.
2. Seek Recommendations
Another good way is to seek recommendations from people you trust because who would have your baby's best interest at heart other than those who love you and your pet?
Try talking to family, friends, and neighbors and ask for recommendations. You can also contact other pet owners and inquire about what services they use when they cannot look after their pets on their own. If all else fails, talk with pet-walking buddies in the park to find the right soul for you and your pal.
3. Check With Your Vet or Local Pet Store
Your veterinarian or local pet store clerk may also know about pet sitters in the area. There is a high possibility of getting legit references due to their network. You may even find that people who work at one of these places offer pet-sitting services themselves.
How to Screen Potential Pet Sitters
Once you receive some recommendations, you will need to think about the best pet sitter for your dog or cat. Take some time and reflect on your and your pet's needs. Write down what you picture in an ideal pet sitter, then think about questions you can ask potential sitters to determine if they will meet your expectations.
When you’re ready, you can go through the screening process by interviewing the pet sitter, contacting their references, and arranging a meet and greet.
Once you have narrowed your options and thought about what you’re looking for in a pet sitter, the next step is scheduling interviews with a few individuals.
Not sure what to ask during an interview? These questions may help:
- Do you have any professional training, certification, or other credentials? If yes, can you share them?
- Are you affiliated with any organizations?
- How long have you been in this field? What is your level of experience with pets like mine?
- What would a typical day look like while pet-sitting?
- How would you deal with an emergency with my pet?
- Can I get the list of references?
- What is your requested pay?
- Do you have any questions for me?
These questions help you better know your potential pet sitter and make the decision easier. If you are satisfied with most of the answers, you're close to finding a reliable pet sitter for your pal.
Consult Their References
Ask for at least two to three references and contact them. You can arrange a meeting in person or talk to them over the call. Inquire about their time with the pet sitter and what things they like or dislike about them.
Ask them about their pet and the bond they shared with the sitter. Contact as many references as possible and look out for any red flags. If the previous clients are satisfied, then you can move on to the next step.
Arrange a Meet-and-Greet
Before you set a pet-sitting date, arrange a meeting with the candidate. Consider it an initial meeting or consultation where you and your pet will meet this person.
Doing this would give you and your pet a chance for first-hand interaction where you can get to know the person better. The meeting would also allow you to observe how your pet reacts around the pet sitter.
You may even ask a candidate for a trial walk with your pet. You could also request that they feed or play with your dog or cat to see how they interact with your pet.
Make Life Easy For The Pet Sitter
Once you’ve chosen a pet sitter, it’s time to let them come help you out while you’re away. However, it’s important to set your pet sitter up for success so they have a great time taking care of your furry friend.
For starters, make sure everything a pet sitter needs to care for your dog, cat, or other pet is easily accessible. Clearly explain where things like food, toys, and accessories are. Also, if you have a Clearly Loved Pets pet pen, show your sitter how to use it and ensure everything your pet loves is in it.
By carefully screening your pet sitter and setting them up for success, you will find that it’s easy to use a pet sitter when you aren’t home.