The pumpkins are gone, and the Christmas trees fill the store aisles. Yup, this means the holidays, one of the busiest travel times, are just around the corner. Leaving your pet home alone is always worrisome, but if you have to, these tips on hiring a pet sitter from the Humane Society will help ensure your pet gets the best care possible.
Does the Pet Sitter Have Insurance?
Hopefully, nothing goes wrong while you’re away, but things happen. An insured pet sitter will provide further peace of mind and will likely operate with a higher level of professionalism.
Is the Pet Sitter Certified?
Pet sitters can obtain several certifications, and there are professional organizations they can join. Be sure your pet sitter is insured and operating their business legally. Having all the licenses and insurance in place indicates that they are a professional pet sitter and take their career seriously.
Be sure to ask for references to call and check online reviews. Also, ask if the pet sitter is recommended by local veterinarians, trainers, or other animal welfare workers.
Have a Test Run
Having your pet spend time with the pet sitter before you leave provides peace of mind for you and your pet. Hire the pet sitter for drop-ins a few times before you go.
Be Clear About Your Expectations
Be sure to discuss your expectations with your pet sitter before leaving on your trip. For example, do you want regular photo updates? Do you want your dog to be walked daily, and for how long? Do you need plants watered?
Talk about Food Schedules and Bad Habits
Be sure your pet sitter knows the feeding habits of your pets, and let your pet sitter know if your pet has food aggression or snaps if you get too close to their food bowl. Also, be honest about any bad habits your pet may have. For example, do you have to put up the garbage so they don’t get in it? Again, be sure your pet sitter knows about your pet’s habits to avoid problems.
Plan for the Unexpected
Be sure to contact your vet and arrange for your pet sitter to bring your pet to the clinic in case of an emergency. Many vet clinics require you to fill out forms and leave payment information that allows your pet to be treated in case of an emergency.
Ask a trusted friend to serve as a backup in case you get home late or something happens to the pet sitter, and they can’t fulfill their obligations. Make sure this friend has keys or access to your home and pets.
Proper planning and following these tips for hiring a pet sitter will make your holidays happy and safe for the entire family. Treat your pet to an Animal Reiki Meditation session. Find out more here.