You are not alone if you feel anxious about leaving your pet behind, doubting that anyone will ever be as tentative towards your pet as you. But when you can’t be with your pet 24-7 due to travel plans, work schedules, and other life events, it’s important to have a reliable pet sitter on hand whom you can count on. How does one find the perfect pet sitter? What can you do so that you and your beloved pet can feel more confident about your departure?
The first thing you can do to reduce stress and separation anxiety about going away is to learn as much as possible about your Pet Sitter in the weeks or months preceding your departure. If you do your due diligence to check your Pet Sitter’s work history and references before you leave, this will give you peace of mind. The bottom line is that when you are more relaxed about leaving, your pet is going to feel more relaxed about your leaving as well.
The second thing is to write a list of questions to ask your Pet Sitter before the date of hire. Having a thorough conversation with your Pet Sitter before you leave will help your Pet Sitter learn more about you and your pet, your special bond, and it will outline and clarify any expectations you have. Below are some good questions to ask your Pet Sitter so you can receive the best pet care possible.
1. How long have you been taking care of other people’s pets?
2. Do you have pets of your own?
3. Why did you want to become a Pet Sitter?
4. Are you insured and bonded?
5. Do you know pet first aid and CPR?
6. What is your policy if my pet becomes sick or injured in your care?
7. Are you okay with me calling you periodically to check on my pet?
8. How long do you spend in the pet’s home when you visit? Or will you stay overnights?
9. Are you okay with surveillance cameras in the home?
10. Do you work solo or will anyone else be in the home or caring for my pet while I am gone?
11. Do you have a substitute or a backup if you can’t care for my pet on any particular days?
12. Do you have 4 references I can call whom you provided pet caregiving to?
The third step is to contact the references, introduce yourself and ask them the following questions:
1. How much do you like this Pet Sitter? Would you hire her/him again?
2. How often have you used this Pet Sitter’s services?
3. Does your pet appear to like or bond with your Pet Sitter?
4. Does your Pet Sitter communicate well with you as things come up?
Once you are satisfied with the Pet Sitter’s responses and the feedback from the references, then it’s time to hire your Pet Sitter. Be sure to give your Sitter plenty of notice about when you’ll be needing their services. If they have a good reputation, they will probably be busy and need time to schedule you in.
Some final tips: It’s a good idea to Introduce your Pet Sitter to your pet in advance, and to show them around your home and your yard so they’ll feel comfortable in your home with your pet. Also, provide multiple ways to reach you if they have any questions, as well an emergency contact person’s name and phone number, in case you can’t be reached. And if your Pet Sitter does a good job, don’t forget to let him or her know and to even offer a tip for their services. Good Pet Sitters can be hard to find.