When you leave on a business trip or take a vacation, your pets notice. They worry when you don’t come home at your normal hour each day, and they may experience extreme stress when their routine suddenly changes. This is why it’s extremely important to choose the right pet sitter for your family. Read on for some pointers from PetMyPal.
1. Interview Potential Candidates
To help manage your pet’s stress and anxiety as much as possible while you’re gone, you’ll want a reliable pet sitter who will provide consistent care. If you know your pet experiences separation anxiety, or if they seem anxious while you’re packing, tell the pet sitter to watch for signs of stress, like constant scratching, frequent urination, or sudden behavioral changes. If they notice these signs, Veterinarians.org notes that it’s best to give the pet plenty of attention, exercise, and mental stimulation. While interviewing potential pet sitters, you’ll want to ask the right questions to help you decide who you can trust with your beloved pets:
- Do you have pets of your own?
- How much time can you commit to my dog/cat/bearded dragon per day?
- How will you respond if there’s an emergency?
- Can you provide me with references from previous pet-sitting jobs?
2. Set Clear Expectations
Do you want a pet sitter who stops by twice daily for feedings and playtime? Would you rather someone provide overnight care in your home the whole time you’re away? To ensure you’re satisfied with the service provided, you must let potential pet sitters know exactly what you need. You deserve to feel confident in your pets’ care while you’re away. If the candidate cannot give your pets the time and attention they deserve, find someone else.
3. Set Your Sitter Up for Success
You want your pet sitter to keep your most vulnerable family members healthy without causing too much stress in your absence. However, as UC Davis points out, even a small disruption can cause insecurity in dogs, cats and other pets. Whether you’ll be away for one day or a few weeks, give your sitter everything they need to be successful, including:
- Food, treats and feeding instructions
- Pet medications and dosages
- Emergency contact numbers
- A note about your pet’s habits and personality
- Pet-safe cleaning supplies in case of accidents
You’ll also want to provide your veterinarian’s information and pet insurance card. If you have yet to purchase pet insurance, keep in mind that finding pet insurance is a great idea in case they get sick or injured. When choosing pet insurance, consider the coverage level, deductibles, premiums, and maximum pet age they cover. Evaluate sample quotes and customer reviews before choosing an insurer.
4. Make Them Comfortable in Your Home
If you hire a pet sitter to stay in your house, you want them to feel at home while they’re there. The more comfortable they feel in your space, the more time they will want to spend with your pets under your roof. Write down your WIFI password, and let them watch Netflix while snuggling your pups and snacking from your pantry. If you’ll be out of town longer than a few days, then you should also inform your house guest of trash and recycling pickup days as well as any scheduled maintenance.
5. Check in, but Not Too Much
If you’ve hired the right individual to care for your pets, then you should trust that person to do the job well. It’s okay to call or text occasionally, but you shouldn’t expect your pet sitter to entertain hourly FaceTime calls because you miss your furry best friends. They have a job to do, and they can’t focus on pet care if you’re blowing up the phone.
Find and Keep the Right Pet Sitter
As much as you love your animal companions, you can’t always take them with you everywhere you go. Hiring a friendly and reliable pet sitter is the best way to manage your stress and theirs whenever you must be away. Do your due diligence and screen the sitter first, and then make sure that they have everything they need to do their job well, including pet insurance information. Finding a quality sitter is like pet parenting gold, and you’ll want to hold on to them for as long as you can!
Still concerned about your pet’s stress level? Reach out and chat with one of our licensed Vet on our pet telehealth function www.petmypal.com/vetsupdoc. It is affordable, easy to use and above all you will have peace of mind when you travel. Happy travels!
Jessica Brody is a guest blogger on PetMyPal. She is a dog lover and creator of Our Best Friends, a site for animal lovers to share their favorite pet photos and stories about their furry pals. We thought Jessica’s tips on pet parenting were helpful to pet parents and wanted to share them with you.
PetMyPal is all about pet health and safety, featuring a powerful and free social media platform, vet chat telehealth function and the planned launch of Smart QR tags for reuniting with your lost pets. On the Web at petmypal.com. Also available in the Apple app store and Google play store.