If you’re an animal lover, leaving your pet in the care of others can be stressful for both you and your pet. You may feel like no one will be able to take care of your furry friends as well as you, and maybe reluctant to ever leave town without them. So, what can you do to find the best pet care provider possible?
Start by asking friends, neighbors and co-workers who they use to take care of their pets. You can also ask for recommendations from veterinary clinics, pet supply stores and pet groomers.
Once you have some names, call each pet care person on your list and be ready to ask lots of questions. A good pet sitter should be willing to take as much time as needed to answer all of your questions.
Here are some questions to ask:
- Why did you decide to become a pet sitter?
- How long have you been taking care of pets? If the person owns a pet-sitting business, ask them how long they’ve been in business.
- What types of pets do you have experience caring for?
- Do you have pets of your own?
- Are you insured?
- Are you bonded?
- How long do you spend at each pet’s home when you visit?
- What is your policy if a pet becomes sick or has an accident while in your care?
- Do you know Pet CPR?
- Do you give pet medications?
- Do you leave a “pet log” of your visits or do you email regular updates about the pet?
- Will you return my calls in a timely manner if I call to check on my pet?
- Will you be the only person taking care of my pet while I’m gone?
- Do you have a backup I can meet if you’re called out of town for a personal emergency while my pet is in your care?
- Can you give me the names of 3 of your clients so I can check your references?
The answers to these questions will give you a good start in determining if this pet care provider is right for you and your pet. Be sure to ask any additional questions that are important to you in deciding on the best pet sitter.
The next step is to call all of the references that each pet care person provides. You should ask each reference what type of pets they have and how long the pet sitter in question has been taking care of their pet. Next, ask them if they have ever had any concerns about the level of care given to their pets. Another question to ask would be what they like best about the pet sitter.
Once you have decided on a pet care provider, the final step is to meet them. Here are some things to observe about the pet sitter who comes to your home:
- Are they prompt and do they call you if they’re running late?&
- Do your pets seem to like them? Pets, as well as children, are very intuitive about the people they meet.
- Does the pet care provider seem comfortable and friendly around your pet?
- Does the meeting seem rushed, or does the pet sitter stay to answer all of your questions, and to really understand your pet’s routine?
Finding a good pet care provider for your pet can take a lot of research and time. But, all of your preparation should pay off when you feel that your furry friend is in good hands while you are gone.