Professional Pet Sitter Characteristics what to look for Pet Sitting Caring for Pets while away

If you have pets and want to be able to leave them in someone’s capable hands while you are on holiday, then you have probably considered either asking a friend or family member to call in and care for them, or taking them to a kennel. However, if you don’t know anyone reliable to pet sit for you and you don’t like uprooting your pets, finding a professional pet sitter may be the best option. You will, of course, need to find someone who is both reliable and able to look after your pet’s needs. There are a number of considerations to make when looking for a professional pet sitter.

*Trustworthy

If you are going to give someone the keys to your home while you are away, you need to be positive that they are trustworthy and will know what to do in case of emergency. To be sure of this, a professional pet sitter needs to come with recommendations and you should make an effort to meet with them before you sign any contract. Ask the pet sitter to come to your home to meet your pet and see how they get on. You can also show them where everything is at the same time. Ask them questions about their experience and, if you have any doubts, turn them down. You will not be able to go on holiday with complete peace of mind if you are not happy with the person’s reliability.

*Registered

Look for a pet sitting agency that is registered with the main body of pet sitters in your country. In the UK, this is the National Association of Registered Pet Sitters (NARP). In the US, the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) is the body to approach. From their website, you should be able to find a professional  pet sitter in your area. It isn’t enough, of course, just to know that the pet sitter is registered with an Association, but it is a good place to start. You will also be able to ask for recommendations before you sign a contract. Should there be any problems, you will then be able to approach the Association for assistance.

*Insured

You will want to ensure that your pet sitter is insured, which is another reason to go through a National Association – NARP, for example, requires their pet sitters to be insured for third party and public liability risks. However, you should still ask for proof. It is also advisable, of course, that you have your own home and pet insurance. If your pet becomes ill while you are away, or there is a problem in your home that is beyond the pet sitter’s responsibility, you will obviously need to resolve the problem through your own insurance.

*Good value

Unless you are wealthy and don’t mind how much you pay for a pet sitter’s services, you will want to find a pet sitter with affordable rates. This will depend very much upon your own requirements. Some pet sitters will come once or twice a day to feed your pet and do anything else that is needed. Others can be hired to stay in your home while you are away. This is clearly more expensive. Shop around and find someone who is good value – but will still provide an excellent service.

*Easily contactable

Many pet owners have concerns about their pet and want to know that they can easily contact the pet sitter if necessary. Make sure that you find a pet sitter who can be contacted easily and who can be trusted to contact you if there are any problems. Hopefully, you won’t need to contact them, but you don’t want to find that you can’t get hold of them when you need to, either because they don’t have a mobile phone, or are at other jobs and unable to answer during the day.

*Fully briefed and understanding

As well as someone who is trustworthy, you need to ensure that your pet sitter is fully briefed and completely understands your requirements. Don’t presume that because you have dealt with someone in the office, all the information you give them will be passed on. When you meet with the pet sitter, ensure that you tell them everything they need to know and ask them to repeat it. It is also advisable to write everything down in case of emergencies. They may, for example, need to take your cat to the vets, so make sure they have insurance details and contact numbers for the vet.

If you ensure that your pet sitter has all the above characteristics, then you should be able to leave your pet with them and go away with peace of mind.