Finding The Right Pet Sitter
I’d love to take you along but…Have you ever considered taking your pet on a trip, but hesitated because you imagined having to eat from the room service menu for days because a fickle Mother Nature won’t let you dine outdoors? Or perhaps you were planning to visit a destination with a fantastic museum you’d love to see, but your pet isn’t allowed inside. Maybe it was a meeting in the city that you had to attend, but sans pet.
Most hotels and many campgrounds discourage leaving your pet alone. But don’t worry – you can have your treats and eat them, too! Finding a pet sitter to stay with your pet while you venture out is an easy solution, and here are some simple suggestions for getting the best match for you and your family!
Locating a Pet Sitter
Many pet friendly hotels offer a variety of pet amenities, including in-room pet sitting services. If you are not staying in a hotel, or the hotel does not offer this service, searching the GoPetFriendly.com website is a great place to find a local pet sitter. You can also contact national associations, such as the National Association of Pet Sitters and Pet Sitters International. If you have an exotic pet, consider contacting a local society or organization for its species.
Before choosing a sitter, be sure to get a couple of referrals. Talk to the concierge at your hotel about local pet sitters and ask for recommendations. Also, check the GoPetFriendly.com site to read reviews and comments posted by other GoPetFriendly.com users about the pet sitters they’ve hired.
Questions, Questions, Questions
A professional sitter will ask a lot of questions. Consider the kinds of questions they ask, as this will indicate their experience in caring for the particular breed or species of your pet. Depending on how many hours you expect to be away, you should expect questions about your pet’s vaccinations and inquiries about behavior and temperament. When it comes time for you to ask questions, have a pen and paper handy to take notes and be sure to ask the following:
- How much experience does the sitter have?
- What training have they received?
- If working with an agency, how are sitters screened and trained?
- What activities will the sitter do with your pet? (Walking, feeding, playtime, administering medicine.)
- Does the sitter or agency keep regular hours? Are they willing to stay past these hours if scheduled in advance?
- How much notice is needed to schedule your request for a pet sitter?
- What are the established fees for services?
- Is there a contingency plan in case of emergency?
- What are the terms of payment?
- Are they bonded and insured?
Also, ask the sitter to e-mail their contract to you and review it carefully. It should clearly define what to expect from the sitter, including a list of rates for all services to be provided.
Ask for references and be sure to follow up. This will help you get a better idea of what you can truly expect from the sitter. As with other steps in this process, jot down a list of questions you would like to ask and take notes.
Follow Your Intuition
If it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t. Keep looking. Once you have found the right person, make arrangements – before you start your trip, if possible.
Before You Leave
Make sure you prepare detailed care instructions for your pet. Go over the list with the sitter before you leave, being sure to point out what and when to feed your animal, medications to be given, and the duration of outings if the sitter will be taking your pet for walks. Let the sitter know how long you intend to be gone, and provide them with your cell phone number in case of emergency.
Spending a little time on this task will pay big dividends – for both you and your pet! You will get the enjoyment that comes from sharing new experiences and exploring new places with your best friend, without concern for having your options limited; your pet will get to join the family for one of the best activities of the year … going on vacation!Planning a pet friendly trip of your own? We’ll make it easy: Pet Friendly Hotels | Pet Friendly Destinations | Pet Friendly Activities