5 Questions to Ask When Choosing A Pet Sitter

You love your pet, but you cannot take him everywhere you go. He might be welcome on your next flight, but it’s not always feasible to bring your dog when you’re traveling. It’s also not enjoyable on some trips, or even possible when you’re visiting an island or going out of the country. There are rules and regulations for bringing your pets into other countries and onto islands with their own carefully constructed ecosystem. One infection or illness brought onto an island can devastate the entire animal population. If you’re not in the market to leave your dog in quarantine for weeks while you’re a vacation, you might want a pet sitter. Here’s what you need to ask to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

Do you have references?

You’d never hire a person to work for you or babysit your kids without asking for and checking references. Would you really forgo doing the same for your dog? You need to know reference names and phone numbers, and you must call them to be sure they are a good pet sitter. Ask references for their take on the sitter, how they work together, and if they have any complaints. You want to know who is caring for your baby when you’re not able.

Do you have your own pets?

A good pet sitter might not have his or her own pets, but you should still ask. It doesn’t make them a less responsible or amazing sitter if they don’t. Perhaps they share an apartment and cannot have animals. Maybe they live with their parents and can’t have an animal. Perhaps someone in their house has a severe pet allergy. They might not have a pet, and that is not a deal-breaker. Sometimes the best pet sitters are simply people who love animals and want to spend as much time with them as they can even though they cannot have one of their own.

How do you handle an emergency?

What happens if your dog gets sick while you’re away? You must know what your sitter will do in case of emergency. There is no right or wrong answer to this question based on your own personal preferences. Your sitter might simply tell you what they might do before then saying they will do whatever you are comfortable with if that’s preferred. They might not have an answer because they’ve never handled a situation like this before, but they might be perfectly capable of coming up with a good game plan with you.

What services do you provide?

Not all pet sitters are created equal. You need to know what you’re getting with your service in addition to what you are not getting. It’s helpful to know what you’re paying for, what services you might pay more for, and how your dog or cat is being cared for while you’re away. A good pet sitter has a list of items they provide, and they have a list of items you can add on to your plan.

Will my pet be around other pets?

If you have a cat and the sitter is coming to your home, you probably have nothing to worry about. If you have a dog that’s going on walks, to the park, and other places, you want to know. Does the sitter walk your dog alone or does she take more than one from the area out at the same time? Do you care, or do you worry your dog isn’t good with other animals? This is another question you might want to consider as nothing having a right or wrong answer based on what you need and prefer.

Your pet sitter must be someone you feel good about. If your gut instinct says not to hire a sitter, go with it. If you love someone and they have excellent references but not much experience with your type of pet, go with your gut. You just want someone who not only cares for your pet while you’re away but also someone who shows them the kind of love and attention they want while you’re gone. You’ll find someone easier by asking these questions.

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