A dog sitter should be qualified to do more than just give your pet food and water while you are away from home; she should be like a second “pet parent” to your beloved canine companion. Much like we expect the people are looking after our kids to be simply amazing at it, we want the same for our pooches! It’s hard for our dogs to see us go on vacations without them, especially for dogs with major anxiety issues. The right sitter does make all the difference. A qualified dog sitter should spend time playing with your dog and spending time with them. They should also be aware of your dog showing symptoms of being ill or injured. Here is how you can choose the right sitter for your dog.
Choosing the Right Sitter for Your Dog
Think about WHY you need a dog sitter
When you’re choosing the right sitter for your dog, you need to think about WHY you need one. Do you just need someone to come over for a few minutes every day to let them out while you’re at work or are you a frequent traveler? Do you need someone who can be ready to sit Fido at a moment’s notice or are you a planner? Knowing your expectations for your dog sitter and communicating those to prospective sitters is important to finding the right fit.
Consider your level of comfort
Another important thing to consider along with your expectations and needs for a sitter: how comfortable are you with strangers in your house? This will help you decide between a sitter who sits in your house and one who opens his/her house up to client’s dogs. If you want to give your dog, he benefits of staying in the only environment they know and keeping with their routine and diet, but you’re not comfortable with strangers, you’ll know to look within your circle of friends and family. On the other hand, if you’re okay with well-qualified professionals staying at your house while you’re gone, you can open up your search to other areas.
Where to find a dog sitter
There are several ways for you to locate a dog sitter. You can use word of mouth by asking family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. You can also inquire with your local humane society or your dog’s veterinarian. Also, Pet Sitters International and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters can help you. Other sites like Care.com and the like are good options as well.
What to look for in a dog sitter
You need to find out everything you can about the skills and qualifications of a potential dog sitter. You want to ensure they have reliable commercial liability insurance and that they are bonded as well. Find out what type of training they have completed, what local veterinarian they are associated with and whether or not they have a backup person available in the event they become ill, have a death in the family or have car troubles. Find out what other services they will provide such as play time, dog grooming or dog walking.
How to make your final decision
Before making a decision, let your dog “interview” potential sitters. Honestly, this is probably more important than your interview portion! Dogs have a great sense of people, so if your pooch doesn’t take to the sitter, I suggest moving on. Watch how your potential dog sitter interacts with Fido when you’re not looking. I’m not saying spy on her (except I kind of am!), but people often act different when they know they’re being watched. Aside from the obvious signs of bonding, you want to see a “spark” between your dog and the sitter. Believe me, you’ll know it when you see it, that sign that the person you’re choosing will love your dog almost as much as you do.
Follow up and ask for “reports”
When you do choose the right sitter for your dog, don’t be afraid to ask questions about your dog’s day. Ask for pictures while you’re on vacation, daily texts letting you know how Fido is doing and summaries of his overall health and wellness when you return. It’s not unreasonable to expect this information. An amazing sitter knows that you love your dog and want to keep up with his daily activities. This is also a good way to gauge your sitter’s interaction with and passion for caring for your pooch.
Follow these tips and you’ll find an amazing sitter for your dog in no time! Remember, above all, you want someone who really loves dogs as much as you do.
Do you have any other great tips for finding an amazing dog sitter? Share in the comments!