Are you traveling over the holidays? Thinking of an in-your-home pet sitter for your dog or cat? Use these guidelines to choose a Marinette pet sitter who is not only professional but will love your pet like their own!
Do your research!
Are you looking at a professional business that employs sitters who are vetted, trained, and supervised, or have you come across a ‘pet lover’ on facebook who will watch your 3 dogs and 2 cats for $10 a day? (Hint – this isn’t going to add up to even minimum wage. What are you going to get for 10 bucks a day?). Make sure you can get references and even reviews from happy clients. Will one review from their mom do it? Nope! You want to see 10-15 reviews minimum, all telling you the same thing!
How often will your sitter visit your home?
The correct answer depends on the type of pets you have. Cats can get along with 1 visit per day. Of course, if they are used to being fed twice a day, 2 daily visits for your felines will have them MEOWING your praises! What about Fido? Well, how many times does he normally go out? If you work all day and Fido is home alone, you may be able to get by with 3 visits per day. These should be evenly spaced so Fido receives consistent potty breaks every 7-8 hours. If you are home with Fido, come home at lunch, or have a dog walker stop by midday, then he will be most comfortable with 4 visits per day: early morning, midday, supper, and bedtime. This is the schedule most DOG Nanny Group clients choose. What did we learn here? If your holiday pet sitter says they’ll come by and make sure “Fido’s good to go”, I’d ask for some specifics, or hire a REAL pet sitter!
Will your sitter keep in touch with updates and photos?
You should expect to hear from your pet sitter while you’re away. After all, they’re caring for a family member! A professional pet sitter will use a software system to keep you informed of how your pet is doing and anything you need to know about your home. They will send pictures to share their adventures with your best friend. This type of personalized care isn’t something you will get from the kid down the street.
What is included in with each visit?
Does your sitter know what is needed to keep your pet happy, healthy and safe? Your pet will need fresh food and water every day, served in cleaned bowls. Your pet’s bathroom breaks should be monitored to make sure he’s going potty each visit and that potty habits are ‘normal’. If you have a cat, box activity should be watched closely to make sure your feline is feeling-fine! What about walking your dog or administering medication? Can you trust your sitter to have control of your pet outside the confines of your home? Will they give your dog his medication on time and in the proper dose? I hate to think of the consequences if the answer to either of these questions is “NO”!
What about your home? Will your sitter protect your Castle?
Safety first! Your house should be made to look as if someone is home. Will your sitter understand the importance of making sure your home appears lived-in and is secure between visits? Will they gather the mail, put out the trash on collection day, and alternate lights and blinds just as you do? Do they have a system to ensure doors are locked and deadbolts are properly engaged? A professional business will have these ‘systems’ in place, the ‘pet lover’ advertising on facebook will not.
How much time will they spend with your pets?
All dogs and cats are different. Sometimes, feeding, watering, and scooping a box will take only 10 minutes. Is that what you’re getting for your ten bucks? If so, you’re paying $60 an hour to have your cat overlooked! We understand that not all cats want rubs and smooches, but that doesn’t mean they can be ignored. For their well-being, cats should be seen at each visit to make sure they’re OK! The hunt alone can take 10 minutes! A professional pet sitter will spend whatever time is necessary making sure your cat or dog is A-OK, do a quick sweep of the house for any safety hazards, and even spend a little quiet time giving them cuddles and love so they feel confident and relaxed while you’re away. Even those scared-y cats will often come out for some scritches and love.
These are all important things to think about and ask anyone before choosing an in-your-home pet sitter. Other considerations are:
- Are they insured and bonded for your protection?
- Do they have a back-up should they become ill or should their holiday plans change?
- What happens if there is inclement weather? Will they still try to get out to your pet?
- What happens if there is an emergency with your home or your pet?
- Will you enjoy your time away if you are concerned about how things are going back home?
Pet sitting, dog walking, exchanging money for time; these are the things being peddled by Wag, Rover, the kid down the street, and that ‘pet lover’ on facebook, and that’s fine – if that’s what you want. If you’re looking for peace of mind, then call us, the DOG Nanny Group. Ten years and more than 35,000 visits, says all you need to know.
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