Pets are part of the family, so when you can’t be there with your precious fur-kid, you need to find someone who will care for him and about him just like you would! Here are some options to consider:
- Professional Pet Sitters: This is truly your best choice. These individuals or companies specialize in caring for pets when their owners are away. They are insured and bonded, very professional with their procedures and care of your pet and his surroundings (aka your home) and are trained in life-saving skills such as Pet First Aid & CPR should the worst happen. Professional pet sitters go through significant training and certifications to receive their CPPS (Certified Professional Pet Sitter) status, so when looking for the best for your pet, choose a professional pet sitter.
- Friends and Family: Although more cost-effective, be sure ahead of time that the friend or family member you are entrusting the care of your fur-child to is knowledgeable of your pet’s routine and needs. Additionally, the pet must feel comfortable around this person and know them prior to the stay, so even though it may seem like a no-brainer, make sure the friend or family member loves your pet and knows what to do if an emergency occurs.
- Neighbors: If you have trustworthy neighbors who are familiar with your pet, consider asking them for assistance. They might be more than willing to check in on your pet, feed them, and take them for walks, but refrain from offer a youngster this duty as not only may they “forget” or get a better offer to go off somewhere, but…would they know what to do if your pet got injured, went missing or if your pipes broke or there was another household emergency?
- Online Pet-Sitting Platforms: Websites and apps like Rover, Wag!, and Care.com can connect you with local pet sitters and dog walkers. You can read reviews, check their qualifications, and schedule meet-and-greets to be sure they’re a good fit for your pet, but still remember to make sure they are trained in animal life-saving skills, are insured and bonded and always have them do a meet-n-greet with your pet with you so that you can assess your pet’s comfort level. It benefits the sitter as well as the pet!
- Veterinary Clinics: Some veterinary clinics offer pet boarding or pet-sitting services. They may have trained staff who can take care of your pet in a safe and secure environment.
- Ask at Local Pet Stores: Local pet stores and grooming salons often have bulletin boards or recommendations for pet sitters. You might find a reliable pet-sitter through their referrals but also check their skill set.
- Social Media and Community Groups: Many communities have social media groups or forums where you can ask for recommendations for pet sitters. Just be sure to thoroughly vet anyone you find through these platforms.
Platforms such as myhotelbreak.com also offer you the choice of hotels that allow pets. If your dog is anxious or the holiday suits, then why not go down that route.
When searching for a pet sitter, it’s essential to:
- Check References: Ask for references from previous clients to ensure the pet sitter has a good track record.
- Interview Potential Sitters: Conduct interviews or meet-and-greets with potential pet sitters to see if they are a good fit for your pet and to discuss your pet’s specific needs. Notice your pet’s body language around the human to judge his comfort level.
- Provide Detailed Instructions: Clearly communicate your pet’s routine, any medications, dietary requirements, and emergency contact information.
- Ask About Insurance and Bonding: Some professional pet sitters carry insurance and are bonded. This can provide peace of mind in case of accidents or issues.
- Establish Payment and Expectations: Discuss payment arrangements and expectations upfront, including rates, the frequency of visits, and any additional services required.
- Emergency Plan: Make sure the pet sitter knows what to do in case of emergencies, such as illness or injury to your pet.
Ultimately, the key is to find someone reliable, experienced in caring for pets and handling emergencies, and also, trustworthy who will provide the best care for your pet while you’re away. It’s a good idea to plan and book a pet sitter well in advance of your holiday to ensure you find the right person for the job.