Tips Before Hiring A Pet Sitter

Here are some great tips before hiring a pet sitter. Remember that the person you’re thinking of hiring should be an extension of you. In how you would treat your home and your pets.

Age Consideration of your Pet Sitter

Well over 90% of pet sitters are between the ages of 17 and 22. Sure there are some responsible young adults out there, but most pet sitters in this age group are simply looking for a way to supplement their income as either baby sitters or pet sitters. Most haven’t owned a home, made mortgage payments, had their own children, or even their own pets. Most don’t understand the responsibility that come with entering someone’s home.

Prior to starting a pet sitting service I asked myself what my biggest concerns were when I was looking for a pet sitter. The first thing that came to mind was responsibility. After all, I want to make sure that the pet sitter I hired not only did their job of looking after my pet, but I also didn’t want the added stress of making sure my house was locked up. That the alarm was turned back on. That the key to my home wasn’t going to be left behind in a purse at a local bar. That the person I was hiring wasn’t going to invite their friends (boyfriend) to my home while I was away. Sure you might consider me a worry wart, but after all – this was my home and my pets.

For that reason, try to stay away from hiring teenagers or young adults especially without getting references and meeting with them face to face. If you’re meeting with a pet sitter for the first time, check to see if they are punctual. If they’re not going to punctual to a initial visit, then chances are they’re going to be late in doing their job. The same can be said for older adults as well.

Pet Sitting Price

Never choose a pet sitter solely based on price. The old saying of, “You get what you pay for” is very true. Always interview your pet sitter and go by references and your intuition after meeting them. All pet sitting providers generally charge about the same, so price should be the least of your considerations. Try to stay away from pet sitters who want to “nickle and dime” you for services that seem frivolous. For example, feeding two dogs instead of one. A good pet sitter understands that success is measured by how you treat others. That word of mouth has been, and forever will be, the best form of advertising. Repeat business for a job well done is the hallmark of success in any business.

Your Pet Sitting Agreement

Make sure to sign a pet sitting agreement and that the details of your agreement as clear. That there are no misunderstandings in either price or the pet sitter’s duties. Be clear on any of  your pet’s behaviors and/or special needs.  Ask yourself, does this person seem responsible? Did they go out of their way to ask questions that others may seem frivolous? One of the things we do is to observe during our initial meeting. If the cat litter is in a bathroom, we take note that the door should always remain open. That another pet or person doesn’t leave it closed. It’s the little things that perhaps our clients don’t notice that make us special. Before signing an agreement, ask yourself the most important question.. Will this person treat my home and pets as if it were theirs? If you’re not 100% comfortable, then find yourself another pet sitter.

Emergency Contact Information

No one like emergencies and while no one can predict the future, it’s always better to be prepared. A responsible pet sitter will always ask for emergency contact information. Not just your cell phone but also for the contact information of a relative or friend if you cannot be reached. A responsible pet sitter should also ask for primary medical information as well. If you have a house alarm, be sure to provide the contact information for your alarm company and make certain to show your pet sitter the process of shutting down the alarm prior to entering your home. The same is true for setting the alarm. A good pet sitter will take a lot of notes and ask a lot of questions.

Notifications From Your Pet Sitter

Make sure you’re notified after the pet sitter leaves your home. One of things we like to do is to send a text message or call our clients after leaving their home. We want them to know that we’ve done our job and that everything and everyone is safe and happy. We want to remove the stress of worrying about your pets. A good pet sitter will have the courtesy to let you know everything is ok. If the pet sitter you’re interviewing thinks that is too much to ask for expects you to pay more for notifications, well then you know what to do.

Lastly….

If you find a good pet sitter, tell your friends. We live in a world were good business generally goes unnoticed. Whether it be your new pet sitter or that new restaurant, do your part and letting you friends and family know. Our motto has always been the same, treat others exactly the same way you’d like to be treated yourself. Support your pet sitter by letting others know.

 

Comments

  1. What great information. My husband and I need to leave town for a few days and was considering hiring a pet sitter. I always check reviews and try to learn from other peoples mistakes whenever possible. These tips are invaluable. It’s all about trust when allowing someone to enter your home. I can’t wait to meet and hope to use your services. You sound like my kinda pet sitter :) Thanks.

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