Leaving your dog or cat at home when you're away on vacation or on a work trip is hard - you want to make sure that they'll be in good hands. While many pet parents prefer to leave their cat or dog with a family member or friend, that just doesn't always work out. A kennel can be an option, however, more and more pet parents are turning to professional pet sitters.
Pet sitters do much more than just provide your dog or cat with food and water, they also spend quality time with your pet, provide them with exercise, play with them, and can know how to act in case of an emergency. (Many pet sitters are also trained in Pet CPR and First Aid.)
When looking for a pet sitter, consider these tips:
- Always ask for references (a minimum of 3 would be ideal).
- Make sure that the company the pet sitter works for is fully bonded and insured.
- Check to make sure that your sitter has undergone a criminal background check and has received proper training for the job.
- Communicate with your sitter. Let him/her know about your pet needs: how many walks, what kind of games your pet likes, feeding schedule and instructions, etc.
- Check if the pet sitter will provide a written service contract spelling out services and fees.
- Provide medical and behavioral history about your pet, as well as veterinary and other emergency contact information.
- Gather all necessary supplies (including food, vitamins, treats, toys) in one central location, so it's easy to find.
- Make sure that the company you're hiring your sitter from has a “backup” plan. This is in case your sitter has an emergency that prevents her from being with your pet when she/he has to.
Below you can find a FREE Pet Sitter Note download, so you can provide all the information needed to your sitter. This will help you make sure that he or she knows exactly what your pet needs.