It’s one thing to leave your pup at home when you go to work, it’s another entirely when you need to leave them for days at a time. While sometimes you can take your furbaby with you while traveling, other times, you’ll need to hire a dog sitter to look after them. Some people leave their dogs with friends or family who know how to take care of them, but this isn’t always an option. There are a lot of things to consider when you’re trying to find a good dog sitter.
When you hire a sitter, you’re entrusting them with your pup’s health and happiness. It’s essential to find a good dog sitter for your furbaby’s wellbeing and your peace of mind. Here’s what you need to know about how you can find a good dog sitter.
Finding The Sitter
Anyone can call themselves a ‘professional’ dog sitter and just have their friends act as references and leave them glowing reviews. It’s important to ask around and use your own personal network to get a recommendation. You’ll want to ensure that whoever gives you a recommendation is someone you can trust to be completely honest with you. You don’t want someone recommending a sitter they have no experience with.
You may consider asking your vet for help too. Since their living is taking care of animals, any sitter they recommend will more likely than not be trustworthy.
Another way you can try to find a good dog sitter is by looking at reputable websites. You’ll need to be careful here, as anyone can make a site. Some good websites to find trustworthy, professional dog sitters on include: the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters, Care.com, Rover.com, and Pet Sitters International.
Make Sure To Interview Them
So, you’ve found someone you think could be good. It’s essential that you meet with them and interview them before hiring them. Someone could look great on paper, but not actually be qualified. You can either interview them over the phone or in person. If your potential sitter refuses to do an interview, this is a massive red flag, and you’ll need to continue your search.
You’ll want to prepare a list of questions to ask them and be ready to answer any questions they have too. If your potential sitter seems annoyed or offended by your questions, this is another red flag. A good dog sitter will both expect a bunch of questions and have a list of their own as well. They’ll understand that this is your furbaby you’re potentially trusting them with and how big of a responsibility that is.
Some questions to ask your potential sitter include:
- What training have you received?
- Do you have insurance? (Professional companies should be fully bonded and insured.)
- Have you ever watched a dog similar to mine?
- What would you do if my dog gets sick or hurt?
- How long will you leave my dog alone each day?
- How many times a day will you walk my dog and for how long?
- If my dog annoys you, how will you respond?
- What’s your backup plan in the event of an emergency?
- Can you give me references?
- What are your payment expectations?
You want to ensure that their availability works with your requirements. It’s always a good idea to draw up a contract if your pet sitter does not provide one of their own. This interview is a great time to relay all of your expectations for how your pup will be cared for, check that you are a good match, and see if they are legitimate.
Do A Trial Run
The interview went well and your hopes are high, but there’s still one more step you should take in order to ensure that you did indeed find a good dog sitter. That’s a trial run. It’s one thing for you to like the sitter, but it’s just as important that the sitter and your dog get along too. They’ll be looking after your dog, after all. You want your dog to like the person who’s going to be caring for them while you’re away.
If your dog and the sitter get along, hire them for a day and see how it goes. See if your sitter follows your requirements for how much communication you’ll need and whether or not they’re reliable. Some red flags are a lack of providing you with detailed reports, puddles of pee in your house, and untouched treats that you asked them to give your pup while you’re away. Even the most detailed interview won’t ensure that the sitter is up to snuff. A trial one ensures they are.
Give Them All The Information They’ll Need
The trial run went well! You like the sitter, your dog likes the sitter, they’ve proven themselves trustworthy and capable! Once you find a good dog sitter, you’ll want to give them everything they need to care for your dog while you’re away. This include things such as your dog’s medical history and any behavioral issues; a list of their immunizations, vaccines, and any medicine they need; their daily routine; emergency contact information; the locations of everything they may need, such as cleaning supplies; any off-limits rooms; and whatever else your sitter and your dog may need while you’re away.
The more details, the better when it comes to the care of your furbaby! It’s also a good idea to get some extra food and other pet supplies, just in case you’re away for longer than anticipated. It can be stressful trying to find a good dog sitter, but once you have, they can become someone you trust to look after your pup in the future too.
These are but some of the things to keep in mind when you’re looking for a good dog sitter. If you want more advice on how to find a sitter, what questions to ask them, or what information you should leave them with, Little Teton Doodles is here to help. We want you to be able to enjoy your trip and your pup to be well-cared for. Contact us today for more information on how you can find a good dog sitter!