How To Find the Pawfect Pet Sitter: 5 Expert Tips

Start your search early and leave your furry member of the family in good hands this holiday season with the right pet sitter

The festive season is just around the corner and like many responsible pet parents, you might have started your search for a pet sitter to look after your precious pets if you are going away for the holidays.

The first step to take is to decide what kind of pet care you want your pets to receive while you’re away. You could look into the option of kennels and boarding facilities, but this can be a stressful situation for your pet to be in.

If you are opting for the choice of a pet sitter, then this might make you feel a little more at ease in knowing your pet(s) is receiving one-on-one care and attention.

Hiring a professional pet sitter is often preferred over getting a friend or family member to help out as this allows your animals to stay in the comfort of their own home and gives you the peace of mind you need to enjoy your holiday knowing they are safe and happy. Asking a friend or family member might put them under pressure in having to disrupt their holiday plans.

Here’s how to find the pawfect pet sitter these holidays

1.     You need to start the search ASAP!

Good pet sitters with great reputations are often booked well in advance. You do not want to be in a situation where you feel rushed or have to make a quick decision as you don’t have the luxury of time. As soon as you start planning your holiday trip, you need to find a pet sitter who is available during the times you are away.

2.     Find out what kind of pet sitter you want

Do you want someone who checks in on your pets once a day to feed them, walk them and show them some love? Or are you looking for a pet sitter who stays in your home at night and keeps your pet constant company?

Some pet sitters even offer training and grooming services for your pets (imagine coming home to better trained and groomed pets after a relaxing holiday away!). Others might also clean your home, take out the trash and are fully equipped to handle pet emergencies and basic pet care situations.

3.     Chat to friends and family for referrals

A good place to start when looking for reputable pet sitters is to chat with your friends and family and find out how they have worked with and who they recommend. It’s also a good idea to chat with your vet as he or she might have some good recommendations.

You can also have a look at social media and Facebook groups for your area and find out what pet sitters are available. A number of pet sitters also have their own Facebook page for you to check out and find out more about their services and reviews.

4.     Have an interview with the pet sitter and introduce them to your pets

Once you have found some pet sitters you are happy with, then get them to come to your home to meet your pets. Pay attention to how they are with your pets and how your pets respond to them.

During this interview, chat with the pet sitter about their past experience, what kinds of pets they have cared for, and if they have any special training. Ask how they would handle an emergency situation with your pet and whether or not they have their own car. You will also want to ask for references from past clients they have worked for.

5.     Give your pet sitter all the information they need

Once you have chosen a pet sitter, make sure you educate them on exactly how to feed and care for your pet. Leave a list with detailed instructions outlining your pet’s diet, exercise routine and most importantly, emergency contact details (vet and close friends and relatives to phone in an emergency).

Ensure the pet sitter also knows how your house works, from the security system to what doors to lock at night. It’s also a good idea to leave some cash behind in case of emergencies or if the pet food runs out.

Additional tips

  • Ask the pet sitter to occasionally turn on the TV or radio to let your pet feel more at home with the background noises.
  • If you have pet insurance, make sure your pet sitter has your insurer details (if you’re with Oneplan Pet Insurance, they pay BEFORE you see the vet using their unique Onecard).
  • Leave a worn t-shirt or piece clothing next to your pet’s bed so that they can smell you while you’re away.
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