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What to look for in a pet sitter?

What to look for in a pet sitter?

Do you find yourself hassled by screening through numerous pet sitters only to end up staying at home with your pet because you couldn't find the right one?

We get you - choosing the right person to look after your pet is an arduous task and we're here to make it a lot easier! Nothing is more stressful than to have to come back to a home with muddy floors, a full litter box, and an un-groomed pet! But, you can avoid those nightmares by conscious screening of pet sitters to match basic criteria alongside other requirements that you may have.

What should I look for in a pet sitter?

Pet parent

No one understands a pet parent better than another pet parent. That said, it is very important for pet sitters to be active pet parents themselves. Hiring pet sitters who have pets at home can help ease your anxiety about leaving your furry friend with someone who knows nothing about raising pets. Besides, it also helps with easing your pet to the fact that someone else is going to be taking care of them while you're away simply because the bond between sitter and pet forms faster when the sitter is already an active pet parent. You might also want to consider hiring a sitter with the same type of pet as yours, for example, dog sitters and usually dog parents, and bunny sitters are bunny parents - this helps to establish an existing and crucial understanding of pet needs.

Flexibility

Pet sitters need to have flexible schedules that allow them to work around you and your needs. More often than not, we end up requiring a sitter in cases of emergency when we have to leave town. In such cases, having a sitter who can pet sit without advanced notice is beneficial.

Experience

The best pet sitters always have amazing reviews from former clients - both pets and parents! When interviewing for a sitter, ensure you ask them for honest reviews and prior references. Whilst most sitters will have only a handful of long-term clients, rest-assured that speaking to those clients will give you all the satisfaction you need!

Educated about pets' needs 

Well-qualified pet sitters are very well-educated about breed-specific needs, including but not limited to, diseases, physical activity, and mental stimulation. In addition to this, they are also well aware of dog-friendly parks, pet stores, veterinary clinics, and other places your pet might enjoy as a tiny getaway. Most well-educated pet sitters are also knowledgeable about all of the pet health hazards and come with an emergency plan in place.  

Knows what to do in an emergency

Emergencies always come uncalled and the best way to face them is to be prepared. Well-qualified pet sitters always have an emergency plan in place for when the situation deems necessary - these plans also involve pet-specific health emergencies like fits, seizures, or allergies. 

Right age

Pet sitters need to be active at all times - whether that means a 5km walk with your dog or a 2-hour indoor play with your cat. Choosing a sitter of the right age is crucial in ensuring your pet is well looked after when you're away. A pet sitter who is too young is more likely to not handle emergencies as efficiently whilst a sitter too old may not be able to meet your pet's daily physical requirements. However, it is also important to keep your pet's preference in mind as well - whilst some pets prefer the company of older adults others prefer young people.

Excellent at communication

As a pet parent who's away on vacation, the one thing that's always on your mind is whether or not your pet is okay. This is why it is important to look for a sitter with whom you can communicate easily. However, communication here doesn't solely imply verbal communication, it also involves digital literacy, i.e. being able to send you photos and videos during the day alongside leaving you notes on walks and mealtimes. 

Mental health

While screening for sitters, it is important to ensure that the one you choose is in good mental health, simply because it is necessary when dealing with pets, i.e. ones who cannot verbally communicate their feelings. In addition to this, having a sitter in good mental health helps to calm your pet down when they are anxious or stressed to not find you at home for long periods of time.

Accommodate to pet's wants & needs

It is crucial to see where your pet is most comfortable - at home or at the sitter's place. Whilst most pets prefer the comfort of their home, others don't mind staying at a new place until their parents arrive. In the former case, you will then have to find a sitter who is comfortable with staying over at your house. However, in the case of the latter, experienced pet sitters usually have an apartment or a house well-equipped to serve your pet. Always remember to visit your sitter's house before choosing them. In addition to this, a sitter must also be willing to accommodate your pet's additional needs, i.e. frequent potty times, walks at particular places, medications at certain times, etc. 

Now that you're ready to choose your pet sitter, we hope your pet feels more than comfortable and happy when you're away!

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