There are many options when choosing to leave your pet overnight with a pet sitter. It’s important to start your search with recommendations from a friend, neighbor, veterinarian, humane society or a dog trainer. Just because someone calls themselves a pet sitter doesn’t mean they’re qualified to do the job. The points to consider vary with each animal, yet several areas of consideration include:
- How much exercise will my pet receive? In a kennel type arrangement, pets may be walked 1-2 times per day.
- How much social interaction will my pet receive? Pets are like people. A broad range of positive experiences help your pet adjust to being alone.
- Conduct an in-home meeting prior to care arrangements. Make sure your pet is comfortable with the sitter before you leave.
- Ask for references. You can find out a lot by calling previous clients to inquire about their experience.
- Be sure to have a back-up plan. Ask about what will happen if the pet needs veterinary care, emergency help, or additional safety issues arise.
We asked Linda Stotsky, a local pet sitter with over 40 clients, about the biggest challenges while pet sitting. “I had an emergency situation with a dog who experienced severe stomach issues within a 24-hour period. It required me to make a judgement call. I consulted with the owners and drove him to an emergency veterinarian. Using my best judgement and checking in at frequent intervals, allowed professional care to be administered and the dog to recover.”
It is important that pets receive the same consideration we give our human loved ones. There is not a “one-size-fits-all” mentality when it comes hiring a pet sitter. Trust your intuition, rely on references and make sure your pet will receive care, safety and a lot of love..”