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How to find the right pet sitter

Are you going away this summer and looking to hire the very best caretaker for your furry friend? One of the best ways to find one is to ask your friends for the name of someone they have employed and with whom they are happy. If you are not able to find someone this way, consider the following ways:

  •      Ask your veterinarian and his/her staff for suggestions. They get a lot of feedback from clients. (But bear in mind people and their pets may have an individual experience.) There may also be a technician or animal care assistant in the hospital that does pet sitting.
  •     Ask a local kennel club or cat fanciers group for a recommendation. Also contact dog trainers or groomers. People love to share the word of good (and occasionally not so good) pet sitters they have found in the community.
  •     Check the yellow pages or do an Internet search.

When you find someone you will want to ask the following questions:

  •     Are you licensed, bonded and/or insured? If yes, the pet sitter shows that they have taken the extra steps to being more professional than someone who is just trying to make a little extra cash. And you will have more peace of mind, should a problem arise.
  •     If you have a diabetic pet or one with medical issues is the pet sitter qualified and/or comfortable caring for them?
  •     How will you recognize a medical emergency? What will you do in case of pet’s emergency? What will you do in case of your own emergency?
  •     Will you take my pet to my veterinarian in case of illness or emergency?
  •     Will you be able to come at the scheduled times or will the times vary?
  •     What questions do you have about my pet?
  •     What are your rates?
  •     May I call several references? If the pet sitter seems edgy or unable to offer any consider this a red flag!

Ok, now you've found a great pet sitter. But how can you be a great pet sitting client? Here are some tips to help everything go smoothly for your pet and pet sitter.

    ✓    Leave clear instructions for your pet's care. Take the time to legibly write out feeding, medicating and exercising instructions. Make sure all medications are clearly labeled.
    ✓    Leave several contact phone numbers in case you are not available. If you say you will be available by cell phone make sure you turn it on or check it several times daily.
    ✓    Make sure you leave clear instructions for what to do and where to go if your pet needs medical attention. Arrange for payment with your veterinarian.  
    ✓    Communicate if you will be coming home early or will be home late. Let your pet sitter know when you arrive home.
    ✓    If you have any concerns at all about the care of your pet, communicate this to your pet sitter. Sometimes little things need to be adjusted and they will appreciate the chance to do an even better job!

Here's wishing you safe travels this summer. Go have fun and just imagine the happy reunion awaiting you when you walk in the door!

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Monday, 27 March 2023

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