You’re so excited about your upcoming vacation, except for one big stress—what do you do with your family dog while you’re away?
It’s never easy to leave pets, especially when they’re young. But, one of the best solutions is to hire a dog sitter. This is someone who will stay in your home, or bring your dog to theirs, and care for them while you’re away.
Many people love pet sitters, as they keep your pet safe and happy while you’re away. However, with so many out there, how do you find the best dog sitter?
To learn more, keep reading to find the top things to look for when hiring a sitter to care for your dog.
If you’re hiring a professional sitter, the first thing to look for is experience. Has this person worked as a professional pet sitter before?
If so, what sort of pets have they worked with and how many years of experience do they have? This is particularly important if your pet has special needs, such as behavioral issues, or is exceptionally large and hard to handle.
It also gives you peace of mind that your beloved pet is in safe hands, allowing you to travel without worrying about how your dog is doing.
Or, if you can’t find a quality sitter to care for your dog in your home when you’re away, consider a dog boarding facility. They have qualified staff who will look after your pet like it’s their own and can offer lots of playtime with other dogs.
A Passion for Animals
If you’re looking for a good dog sitter, one of the most important qualities is a passion for animals. Some people just naturally love dogs and are happy to do whatever it takes to keep them healthy and happy.
Others, unfortunately, get into pet boarding for the money but don’t actually have a huge love for pets. It’s ideal to meet your dog sitter before to make sure they’re genuine animal lovers, willing to care for your pet to the highest standard.
It’s a great idea to look for a sitter with specific training in pet care. If your pet gets injured or sick while you’re away, pet health training classes can help with everything, including first aid, snake bites, CPR, and accidental poisoning.
Your sitter should also have all of the contact details for your vet, so they know where to get help in an emergency.
However, if your pet has special care needs, like daily medication, be sure to train your pet sitter on what needs to be done before you leave.
If the dog sitter has owned a dog of their own before, this can really help, since it means they likely have experience in dealing with pet emergencies.
References from Previous Clients
If you’re going to hire someone to care for your dog, be sure to ask for references. These are the details of former clients your pet sitter has worked with who’d be willing to provide a testimonial.
Ask for 2-3 references and reach out to them, ensuring the sitter has positive references from others. If someone isn’t able or willing to provide a reference, then they’re probably not someone you want to hire.
Always check about pricing before hiring a dog sitter—how much are they charging per night or per week? Sitter pricing can vary based on location and skill level but may run anywhere from $30-$60 per night.
Before hiring, be sure you find someone who has prices you agree with, remembering that the cheapest option isn’t always the best.
Make Sure Your Pet Sitter Is Willing to Sign a Contract
Any reputable pet sitter will be glad to sign a contract. After all, pet sitting is a business deal, so a contract should outline the requirements for both parties.
This will also provide you with legal protection, just in case anything goes wrong during the stay. Most sitters will have contract templates they use, but if not, you should be able to find one online.
A Genuine Connection With Your Pet
Always meet your pet sitter before hiring so you can observe how they are with your pet. Do they seem to have a natural affection for one another?
If so, great sign! Sounds like your pet and the sitter will be happy together. However, if your potential sitter seems uneasy around your pet, that’s not a good sign.
Good Problem Solving Skills
When it comes to dogs, you always need to think on your feet! What happens if your dog tracks mud all through the house, gets lost in the park, or won’t stop barking?
A skilled pet sitter should have solid problem skills and a strong knowledge of animal behavior. This ensures they can handle any problem, big or small, that might pop up while you’re away.
Find the Best Dog Sitter With These Helpful Tips
Before you jet off on your next vacation, use this guide to research and select the best dog sitter for your four-legged friend.
There are lots of places to look for sitters—Google searches, pet sitting websites, and local community groups. You can even ask your neighbors—who do they use when they go on vacation?
Before too long, you’ll find the perfect person to look after your pet and you can travel in peace, knowing your pup is safe.
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