Finding the Right Pet Sitter
The difference between relaxing on your vacation and constantly worrying about your four-legged friend left behind at home is finding the best pet sitters. Whether you've chosen to have an in-home pet sitter or to kennel your pooch, your pets comfort and your peace of mind rest on finding the most qualified animal care provider possible. Benefits of In-Home Care. Most pet owners would rather have someone come into their home to take care of their animal. This allows your pet to stay on its schedule of eating, sleeping, and exercise. A good pet sitter will keep the animals routine intact, which means less confusion and work when you return.
If you plan to have someone stay in your home while you are away, make sure its someone that you trust thoroughly. You'll be giving away your keys, your alarm password, and your animals life. This can be a neighbor or close friend; however, you can also find several in-home pet sitters who own their own businesses.
Choosing a stranger to care for your animal is a delicate process. Make sure to interview the person carefully.
Is this person a full-time pet sitter, or is this something he or she does occasionally?
- Does the sitter have references you can contact?
- Does the sitter have special training?
- Does he or she have a list of services and activities to perform with your pet?
- Does the applicant have pet sitting insurance to cover any accidents or emergencies?
When hunting for the best pet sitters, ask for referrals at places like the dog park, the pet store, and your veterinarians office. Perhaps one of the vets interns would like to make some extra money sitting with your pet. If you have a vet school in the area, you might ask if any students are interested. These are great options, as you can rest assured they have emergency training and also love animals.
A more affordable pet sitter option is to have a neighbor check in on your pet periodically. Unfortunately, your animal will be alone for long stretches. However, this type of sitting usually costs less, and your pet is in the comfort of its home.
Another option for affordable pet sitters is kenneling your pet. Most kennels charge by the day, but they are less expensive than having a private pet sitter. When looking for a good kenneling service, be sure to ask other pet owners and your vet for referrals. (Sometimes, veterinarians also offer kenneling services.) The benefit of kenneling is that the workers are trained in animal care. They know what to do if an emergency arises and usually have some sort of pet sitting insurance, but make sure to ask about this. Your pet will also become socialized with other animals while staying away from home.
The downside to kenneling is that your pet is in a kennel for most of the day. They will be fed, walked, and entertained, but kennels have a strict schedule, as they have many animals to care for. This schedule may be different than your pets regular routine, so you may have to re-acclimate you pet to your schedule when you arrive home. Additionally, the animals are not taken out to go to the restroom every time the urge arises; so, you may have to house break your puppy again.
Doggy Daycare is another option to kenneling. However, most daycare facilities don't offer overnight care. But if you're just taking a quick day trip, this is a good option, as the animals spend less time in crates and more time interacting with the pet care providers and other animals.
You wouldn't leave your children with just anyone, so take the same care and precaution when choosing the best pet sitters. Ask for references, provide the sitter with your contact information (and your vets information), and check in regularly to make sure everything is going smoothly. Your pet will thank you for it!
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