So you’ve decided to hire a professional pet sitter to take care of your precious babies, but now who do you hire? Hiring a pet sitter isn’t just about finding someone who is capable of feeding your pet, scooping some liter and making sure your dog has gone outside to relieve himself. You’re asking for someone to take a key to your home, come in when you’re not there, show up when they say they’re going to, do the things you’ve asked and not steal any of your belongings or leave your house a wreck. How do you know who is going to be reliable and trustworthy enough for that? We’ve compiled a check list of things that you should look for in a professional pet sitter to make your search easier.
1. Insurance – A professional pet sitter should be insured, no ifs ands or buts about it. Does the sitter you’re considering hiring carry liability insurance? Be sure to ask to see their certificate of insurance.
2. Pet First Aid Certified – A professional pet sitter should be certified in pet first aid so they’re prepared to take care of your pet in an emergency.
3. Experience – Even if the pet sitter you’re considering hiring has not been in business for years, they should have experience caring for their own pets and the pets of friends and family and volunteer experience.
4. References – A professional pet sitter should have a list of references that they’re willing to provide to you. Don’t just ask if they have references either, actually check these references out! Ask them how they’re experience was with the sitter, if they’re pet’s seemed to be well adjusted when they returned home and if they will be using them again in the future.
5. Emergency Procedures- Be sure to ask the potential sitter what their emergency plan is if they’re unable to make it to your pet because of inclement weather or personal emergency.
6. Security- How does the pet sitter handle keys? Be sure you know how they keep your keys and home information safe.
7. Service Contract- Not only does a service contract protect the pet sitter, it also protects you. Be sure they have a written service contract that you will sign BEFORE services begin.
8. Initial Contact- How soon after you contacted the pet sitter did they get back to you? Phone calls or emails should be returned within 24 hours.
9. Continued Contact- Does the sitter make it easy for you to contact them while your pets are in their care? Do they offer regular updates?
10. Payment – Does the sitter have established fees that they’re able to quote over the phone? Do they explain clearly to you when payment is due and what forms of payment they accept?
You tell us: Is there anything else that you look for in a professional pet sitter that wasn’t mentioned in the list above?