Hear Your Pets, Heal Your Pets

Article: Creating the Purr-fect Relationship

Hire a Professional Pet Sitter The Easy Way

By: Thom Williams, Animal Healings, Animal Communication & Animal Reiki Master

Animal communication pet wellnes for the whole family

Planning your families vacation is always such a fun and exciting process and at points sometimes challenging. Deciding on pet care during your travels is often the most difficult decision that has to be made. However, more and more pet owners are now deciding to use the services of a professional pet sitter.

How to Hire a Professional Pet Sitter

A professional pet sitter provides piece of mind to traveling pet owners by caring for their two most precious things, their pets and their homes. This allows your pets to stay in the comforts of their homes and enjoy their already familiar environment which alleviates stress as well as aids in the transition of your pet getting acclimated to a new caregiver. Hiring a professional pet sitter allows your pet to maintain their normal routine.

Pet owners are pleased they are not having to depend on their neighbors or friends to care for their home as pet sitters provide mail, newspaper, trash and plant services as well as added security benefits such as alternating lights and blinds in the home to alleviate the appearance of an empty household. The key to a great stress free relationship with your sitter is knowing what to look for when you start your search.

Finding Your Pet Sitter

When searching for a pet sitter I always recommend using the pet sitter locator on NAPPS. NAPPS is the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. On the main page of their site a pet parent can enter their zip code and get an immediate list of pet sitters who service their area. Another great resource is contacting your veterinarian and asking friends for a referral to a pet sitter they may have used or heard good things about. Pet parents can also contact their local chamber of commerce for a pet sitting referral.

Make sure your pet sitter is a professional

Not all pet sitters are created equal. When searching for your pet sitter it is vital you find a professional. The pet sitting industry is like a teenager. It has been around for a little while and people know about it however not all aspects of the industry have fully matured. There are no formal regulations for pet sitters. Unlike other service industries to get a business license for a pet sitting company you do not even have to show proof of insurance. This is why it is the responsibility of the pet parent to know what to look for when hiring a professional pet sitter.

The difference between a hobby sitter and a professional pet sitter can easily be identified by checking to ensure the sitter is licensed, bonded and insured. Making sure your sitter is insured and bonded is essential to the well being of your home and possessions as well as the direct care of your pet.

Interviewing with Ease

Pet parents are always encouraged to interview multiple pet sitters before deciding on the sitter who is the best fit for their family. Before interviewing your pet sitter sit down and plan your pet's needs so you can communicate them with the sitter. Develop a list of questions to ask your sitter before they arrive for the interview to make sure you have not forgotten anything once the interview begins.

A professional pet sitter should have no objection to a pet parent interviewing multiple sitters and if they do you need to ask yourself if this person is someone you want caring for your pet. Always ask your sitter to provide you with references as well as contact information for a client or two that you can contact to ensure their happiness with their past service. Above all while interviewing a potential pet sitter watch how they interact with your pet. Examine how comfortable you r pet is with the different sitters and often times your pet will greatly help you make your decision by their reactions to the sitter.

Another item to consider when interviewing potential sitters is as you get started you may find multiple sitters that are all qualified. What I usually suggest at that point is looking at additional information. Is that pet sitter a member of any national associations or chamber of commerce's? Does the pet sitter attend any pet sitting conferences to enhance their continued education? Has the sitter completed any type of certification? Does the pet sitter have a disaster plan? These questions will then help you make a decision.

Communication is Key

The more information your sitter is given the better the relationship becomes. If there are areas in the house that are off limits to your pets then the sitter needs to be aware. Does your pet have a certain route it likes to take during their walks? Does your pet have any fears or phobias? Perhaps a fear of thunderstorms or a certain child down the road. These are all very important for your pet sitter to know.

Emergencies can always arise. Prepare your sitter by communicating with them all of your household emergency shut offs such as water valves and circuit boxes. Also make sure your sitter has all the names and numbers of your service technicians such as your plumber, your heating and air conditioning company, your electrician and if your home has a security alarm make sure that your sitter has their own identification code and password for the alarm company.

Pet Sitters are also great at being able to provide your pet with their personal little preferences. Everything from a certain bowl to a specific stuffed friend can help make your pet feel special and stress free. These small items that are part of your pets routine my seem minimal to some but to a pet sitter this is our job. These little things are what sets us apart and ensures your pet remains happy and consistent while you are away. It is hard to ask a neighbor or friend to provide all of this. For a pet sitter this is just a normal day.

Planning your Departure

Before you head out the door for your vacation make sure you sitter is well supplied. Have an extra key made for your sitter and make sure you test the key before giving it to the sitter. It is also a good idea to have another key made and given to your emergency contact.

Your pet sitter should have you sign a veterinary release form giving them permission to have your pet treated if any illness occurs in your absence. It is also recommended that the pet parent contact their veterinarian to let them know the sitter will be caring for the pet and speak to them about their protocol for treating pets whose owners are away. Some offices will allow the sitter to come in and bill the pet parent for the service while other offices may expect a payment in full immediately from the sitter or ask the pet parent to provide a credit card to keep on file for an emergency while they are traveling.

Purchase enough food, litter and medications for your pet to cover the entire length of your stay as well as enough for a couple extra days beyond your expected return date as a precaution. Make sure your sitter knows where all your cleaning supplies are located for items such as your mops, brooms, vacuums, trash bags, dust pans, sponges and disinfectants. If your carpets or furniture can only be cleaned with certain solutions make sure your sitter is aware.

Check over the perimeter of your yard especially for pet parents who have fences to make sure everything is secured and check your pets collar to ensure it fits properly and that your dog is not able to pull out of their collar. Most importantly make sure all your pets are identified and microchipped.

Once all of these items are in place you can relax and have a great vacation knowing your pet and your home will be in very capable hands.

For More Info, Contact:

Monica Leighton
Jacaranda Animal Hospital, Practice Manager
725 Shamrock Blvd., Venice, Fl. 34293
phone: (941) 497-1676 fax: (941) 497-1578

Professional Pet Sitting, Owner
(941) 223-9916
Winner "Best of Venice" & "VACC Business of the Year"
National Association of Professional Pet Sitters, Past President

Hear your pets - heal your pets ™

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