Babysitter’s club: how to select a sitter for your pet

by Kira Garrett | March 24, 2014

Your love your pets—they’re a part of your family—so of course you want the best care for them when you’re away. Whether you’re travelling or an emergency requires you leave Fido at home, there are several options to consider.

More and more pet parents elect to leave their furry friends at home with a professional pet sitter. A boarding kennelcan be stressful, noisy and over-stimulating for your pet, while asking family or friends to care for your pet might prove burdensome.

Having a professional sitter in-home allows your pet to follow their daily routine and provide you with the peace of mind that a professional is caring for your beloved pooch or kitty.

Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting a sitter:

Check references

Follow up with at least three references from your prospective sitter. Chatting with another pet owner about his/her experience will let you know what to expect.

Be sure to discuss the sitter’s qualifications, including any training programs she or he has completed as well as other experience working with animals. Make sure you discuss your expectations—whether or not the sitter will stay overnight in your home, whether or not you would like walks, a trip to the dog park, etc.

Set up a meet and greet

Before you decide on a pet sitter, bring your pet along for an introduction. Watch how the sitter interacts with your pet and also how your pet responds to this new person.

Prep work

Make things as easy as possible for your sitter before you leave. Keep all pet-related items in one area of your home, so they’re easy to find and keep track of. Write out detailed instructions, including feeding times, bathroom breaks and also some notes about your pet’s temperament and preferences. The more detailed you are, the easier it will be for your sitter to stick to the routine.

Consider all the daily activities you do with your pet—from feeding, to play time, to grooming and make sure your pet sitter has everything necessary to perform those daily tasks.

Create an emergency plan

Accidents happen, whether you’re home with your pet or not. Phone your Vet’s office and inform them of your absence, this way they can expect a ‘strange’ person to phone or visit with your pet. You can also consider creating a first-aid kitto leave with your other pet supplies. Leave all contact information for your pet—including numbers for neighbors and family.

Selecting a qualified pet sitter you trust is a great way to ensure you and your pooch have a relaxing time while you’re away.