No matter what kind of pet you have, anyone who has an animal at home will agree that they are a huge part of the family. So, if you’ve booked a holiday and you’re unable to take your furry friend along with you, you will want to make sure that they are happy and well looked after with the best possible care during your absence. One of the best ways to ensure that this happens is to find a reputable pet sitter in your area, who will look after your pet as if they were their own. But, how do you know if a pet sitter is the right choice for your pet? We’ve put together some top tips to help you find the perfect fit.
#1. Home Visits
Staying in a boarding kennel, cattery or other facility for pets can be very stressful for animals, particularly if they are sensitive to crowded environments and other animals who they are unfamiliar with. Although certain pets are more outgoing and confident and therefore able to thrive in this type of environment, others may become anxious and distressed in an unfamiliar place without all the comforts of home. If this sounds like your pet, it’s definitely worth looking into pet sitters who can come and care for your pet at your own home; this way, your beloved furry friend doesn’t need to leave the environment that they find comfortable and safe.
#2. Type of Pet
Some pet sitters will happily care for a wide variety of different pets, but in some cases, you might need to find a sitter who specialises in looking after a particular kind of animal. This is especially true if you have a more exotic pet such as a snake or lizard, which many pet sitters may not be trained as well in the care of. If you have a rarer pet than most, finding a sitter with plenty of experience with this type of animal will give you the peace of mind that you need knowing they are comfortable and well cared for in your absence.
Pet insurance is crucial for every pet owner, so the first thing that you should do is ensure that your own pet insurance policy covers your pet for injury, illness, loss or death whilst they are in the care of a pet sitter. It is worth looking into an insurance provider like Everypaw who offer 24-hour access to veterinarian nurses by phone, so you can contact them while you are away no matter the hour. In addition to having pet insurance yourself, it’s a wise idea to look into sitters who also provide insurance for pets in their care. A trustworthy pet sitter will be familiar with all local veterinary surgeries, so you know that your animal will be provided with the best care should anything go wrong whilst you are not around. You should also ensure to choose a pet sitter who is trained in pet first aid.
#4. Training, Qualifications and Experience
Although there’s no need to have any special training or qualifications in order to be good at looking after pets, if you’re going to leave your beloved furry friend with a professional, you want to make sure that they have the relevant training and experience beforehand. It’s down to you whether you feel qualifications are important to you or not; for example, you could find somebody who has owned and looked after their own dogs for all of their life and feel that they will be able to provide your furry friend with a wonderful level of care regardless of their lack of qualifications. It’s a wise idea to shop around first and interview any potential pet sitters. Enquire about the amount and type of experience that they have gained, to help you determine how suitable they will be for your pet.
#5. Past Customer Reviews
Most good pet sitters will have social media profiles, websites, and profiles on specific pet sitter search websites to make finding them easy for their potential customers. In most of these cases, potential customers will be able to read reviews from past clients who have left their pets with this particular sitter before. Wherever possible, it’s a good idea to look for sitters who have reviews from their past customers as this will give you a more realistic idea of what to expect. Bear in mind that not all reviews will be of the glowing five-star variety, but if most of them are positive, you can usually expect a great experience with the sitter in question. Recommendations from friends, family and colleagues who have pets can also be a great way to find the perfect sitter for your friend.
Leaving your pet behind when you go on vacation is often essential, so ensure that you’re both happy and stress-free with a good pet sitter. Knowing your pet is in safe, caring hands will provide you with the peace of mind that you need to enjoy your break.
Image Credits: Hammy Havoc