The following helpful guest article was written by Greer Grenley, Rover.com community member.
Like HouseMyDog.com here in Europe, Rover.com is the largest online network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers in Canada and the U.S. It is available via web, as well as Android and iOS app, and the website has now launched in the UK too.
Holidays should be fun, not stressful. However, many of us are faced with the anxiety of finding an appropriate person to pet sit while we’re out of town. You need not fear – whether you need somebody to change your cat’s litter box, feed your rabbit, or stay with your dog, there are many choices. When weighing your options, there are several things to consider and important rules to follow.
Do Your Research
If this is your first time looking for a sitter and you don’t know anyone, start asking around. Talking to your vet is a great place to start, as they may have recommendations for you. Check ads in the newspaper or online, and ask around your neighbourhood. Maybe a close friend or neighbor is willing to watch your pet for you, but if they aren’t, see if they can suggest someone. Your number one priority is the health of your animal, so you have to find somebody you trust.
Decide What You Need Your Sitter To Do
Nobody knows your pet more than you do, so be transparent with any potential sitter on what you need from them. Are you looking for somebody to house sit for you while they spend time with your cats? Do you want to board your dog at their house? Do you need somebody who can administer medication? Or somebody who is an expert at caring for a certain type of smaller animal? Just like humans, animals have different personalities, so it’s important to find somebody who gets along with your pet. Not everyone will be the right fit, and that’s okay.
Introduce Your Pet To The Sitter Beforehand
It’s imperative that you meet with a potential sitter before agreeing to their services. If they’d be watching your dog, first meet them in a neutral place like a park so that you can introduce them to your pup and see how they get along. If that goes well, invite them to your house and show them the ropes (or if your dog would be staying with them, do a follow-up meeting at the sitter’s house.) If they’ll be watching your cat or another animal like a bird, reptile, or rodent, make sure you walk them through exactly what you need them to do; show them how to change the cages, how much food to give them, and how often they need a change of water.
Ask For References
If you already know and trust the pet sitter, then you don’t necessary need their references. If this is someone you’ve never met before, ask for a list of clients and pet services that can vouch for them. You don’t want to make them feel like you don’t trust them, but when it comes down to it, your pet’s safety comes first. If the sitter is a professional, they’ll understand. You can also compare prices of different sitters to see what services are included. If they have Yelp pages, you should read different reviews so that you’ll get a good idea of what you’re getting for your money.
If you keep all of this in mind, you’ll be able to find a pet sitter that’s right for you, and you can rest easy knowing your pet is cared for while you enjoy your relaxing vacation.