Our pets are an important part of our family and that’s exactly why we need to take just as much thought and consideration into choosing their caretakers as we would for anyone else in our household. There’s a great deal to consider when finding just the right sitter for our four-legged friends whenever we’re absent.
Given our hectic schedules nowadays, leaving a beloved pet inside the house all day isn’t always a realistic option. Even something as simple as contact with a plant can be a potential danger. Then there are vacations, business trips and other long-term events to consider where our precious pets may not always be welcome to join us.
Many pet sitters also provide other services like bringing in newspapers, picking up the mail, watering plants and giving houses that “lived-in” look while we’re away. This also gives pet owners tremendous peace of mind in addition to using texting, emails, video chatting and other avenues to keep in touch with these caregivers on a regular basis.
But that still brings us back to finding the right person to care for pets while we’re away from home. Here’s six tips for getting the perfect caregiver for your precious pet and important things to remember during the all-important interviewing process:
Six tips for finding the right person to care for your pet
#1 – Questions and Answers – It’s obvious you’ll have plenty of questions when it comes to the care of your furry little friend, but the provider should be equally as inquisitive. It should be almost like they’re searching for potential situations or examples that they could, would or should be providing.
#2 – Bonded, Licensed and Insured – Whether you’re hiring an individual or considering a service, they should always be properly licensed, bonded and insured, while also able to provide proof of their ability to provide this type of care. This includes any unique local ordinances that could vary according to your specific province, city or county regulations.
#3 – References Available – You may be accustomed to seeing a statement like “references only available upon request,” but these should always be immediately present. This offering shouldn’t be an afterthought, but more of an omnipresent reality.
#4 – Contracted Care – Although this may seem like a friendly agreement, it needs to be backed up and supported by an actual contract. It comes down to the fact that you’re seeking to arrange a business agreement, a certain dollar amount offered for specific services that need to be performed and provided.
#5 – Training and Education – These pet care providers should have some type of certification, education or training in place that sets them apart from any average individual or organization. Not that they need to be a licensed veterinarian, but even basic first aid for animals is important in case of an unlikely event or emergency.
#6 – Special Circumstances – Speaking of unlikely events, your pet’s caregiver should have a plan in place in the event of any type of unforeseen circumstance transpiring. What happens if they become ill or have some kind of an emergency that could take them away from the care of your pet? While a pet sitting service should have a team of back-up workers, will an individual have a plan in place in case they’re unavailable?
Ultimately, there’s a precious life that hangs in the balance during your absence and you shouldn’t have any unanswered questions, doubts or insecurities. Go with your gut and trust your instincts. If there’s anything that occurs during the process of interviewing or if a prospective pet care provider that makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, move on to the next possible candidate.
Amber Kingsley is a freelance writer who has donated countless hours to supporting her local shelter. She has spent most of her research with writing about animals; food, health and training related. She has also experienced numerous methods of training with local Southern California trainers.