You love your pets, and if you consider yours part of the family, your “babies” and worry about their well being while you’re away, then it’s time to consider a personalized service such as pet sitting in your home.
Let’s face it – many boarding kennels provide adequate service, but your pets are not in the comfort of their own home. Often, kennels are noisy environments where senior and young animals, those with anxiety or stress and illness do not cope well. Pets may also be exposed to kennel cough, canine flu, stress diarrhea, and some refuse to eat due to the strange surroundings.
It’s wonderful when your dog can romp in his own yard or go on a walk with a pet sitter in his own neighborhood. Imagine your cat stretching out in her favorite patch of sun and having a clean litter box daily. All pets get love, pets, and attention one-on-one, and lots of playtime! Pet sitters provide a nurturing service that helps keep your pets happy, coddled and content while you are away on vacations and business trips.
Another plus of this unique service is the home care that is included. There is no need to stop the mail or newspapers, your pet sitter will bring those inside, including packages left at your door. Home security checks are performed, plants watered, and trash taken to the curb. Your home has a lived-in look as lights are alternated and curtains opened or closed according to your instructions.
Many pet owners are not aware that they can enjoy the benefits of a pet sitter without having to inconvenience neighbors, friends or family members. It also eliminates have to take pets to a boarding kennels, and then worry about pick up times. Pets are waiting at home, happy and well cared for. As an added bonus, if you have multiple pets, you can save a ton of money, as most visits are based on time, and include all pets in a household. If you have exotics, or animals such as horses, livestock, and farm animals, you can probably find a pet sitter that specializes in these types of care.
There are pet sitting services that offer care for special needs pets. For instance, those of advanced age with arthritis or illness. Post surgical care, dressing changes, and assistance with dog “wheelies” are areas many pet sitters can deal with while you are away. The majority are skilled at administering oral, injectable medications, fluid hydrations (under the skin), and applying ear, eye, and skin ointments and drops. Don’t forget very young puppies! Many benefit from the additional visits during a busy work day for potty breaks, leash training and socialization to people outside their family.
Midday dog walking service is almost always a service offered by professional pet sitters. If you have long days at the office, or have a meeting that runs over, your pet sitter can stop by to walk, play with and feed your pet when you can’t. Ask for discounts for prepaid services or weekly service.
So how does a pet sitting service usually work? Most professional pet sitters will offer a consultation, during which they have an opportunity to meet you and your pets. All instructions for the care of your pets and home are obtained during this meeting, and arrangements for key pickup. Once you hire the pet sitter of your choice, it’s just a matter of calling, sending an email, or using a website ordering system to request pet sitting whenever you need it.
If you are considering using a pet sitter, here are some tips for choosing a great service for your home and pets:
1. Be sure your pet sitter carries liability insurance and is bonded.
2. Ask for references, and check them!
3. Consider experience, background and hiring practices if the service has multiple sitters.
4. Find out what disaster plans the pet sitter will follow as applicable to your area (hurricanes, earthquake, blizzards, etc.)
5. Inquire to the procedure followed should your pet require a veterinarian.
6. Make certain you feel comfortable with the person you are interviewing. Look for confidence, knowledge, and ask lots of questions. Also see if your pets are comfortable with the person.
Once you have chosen a professional pet sitting service to care for your precious babies, here are some suggestions for making the pet care experience more productive:
1. Make sure all food, medications, treats, leashes, and other essentials are in clear view for your sitter.
2. Double check that all forms and information has been provided, including your vet information and a trusted emergency contact.
3. Take up anything your pets might get into or chew up. Don’t forget about plants, candy dishes, foods left out on counters, and anything tempting (shoes, kid’s toys, etc.).
4. Be certain that your doors and windows are closed and locked, and that you haven’t changed any codes or keys since the last time your pet sitter provided service.
5. Inspect all collars, leashes and harnesses for wear, frayed areas, and that they fit properly. Replace or refit any equipment as required.
6. Make arrangements for things such as snow removal, or leave out a shovel and ice-melt for small jobs during snow storms.
7. Water all indoor and outdoor plants once before leaving.
8. Scoop the yard and litter boxes once before service begins.
9. Leave notes with any additional information you wish the pet sitter to know.
10. Make sure the porch light works, especially for sitters arriving after dark.
Once you have used the services of professional pet sitter, chances are you will love the service and be an avid repeat user!