Are you thinking about taking a trip or planning a family vacation? What about Fido? If you can’t travel with your pets, you’ll need to make accommodations for them too! Perhaps you might consider boarding your dog or asking a neighbor, friend or family member. If you prefer the peace of mind from knowing that a trained professional is caring for your pets at home, then you may want to consider hiring a pet sitter. Keeping your pet in their own environment on their regular routine and diet decreases stress for both you and Fido.
Pet sitting has evolved, and in-home care is an ideal solution. For various reasons, your pets may not be suited for professional boarding or a kennel situation. Perhaps you may have thought that you couldn’t travel because of your elderly animal or the pup too young to board. Maybe you just have an over-anxious dog or cat that you simply can’t board. You can still take a vacation!
It is very difficult to leave your “babies” in the hands of a stranger while you are away. If you are in search of professional pet care, it can be a tough decision, at best. Who should you hire? What should you ask them? Hiring a pet sitter is a serious process.
When Hiring a Professional, Ask These Questions:
- What is included in each visit and how frequent are the visits to my home? You want to be sure that all of your needs are covered and there aren’t any surprises in fees. Every professional pet care company should have a well written contract that outlines services agreed upon and fees for service. This should also provide all the details of your pets’ needs, history and routine and will help ensure that they are well cared for in your absence and the level of expectation is agreed upon and fulfilled.
- Are you bonded, insured and licensed? If anything should happen to your pet or your home in your absence, you want to be sure that all of your bases are covered. Just ask for proof of each of these items to ensure your peace of mind.
- What does the potential pet sitter do if medical care is needed for your pet? Arrangements should be made with your veterinarian or local emergency vet to allow the sitter to seek medical attention for your pet while you are away. Be sure that you provide vet information and a vet release to your pet sitter in the event it is needed. Ask about their company policies so you can work together on a plan of action if it’s ever needed.
- How are my keys handled? You certainly don’t want a key labeled with your name and address on it! Ask about their key policy and if they have a key coding system. What is their key return policy? For example, do they leave the key at your home on the last visit? What if you are unexpectedly delayed? Your pets need to be easily accessible in the event that it’s needed.
- References. Do they willingly and happily provide references? Always ask for recent multiple references. If you contact their clients directly, you will get firsthand experiences from them and will be able to inquire further about the services provided. After all, they just went through this process of hiring a professional and will be able to give you inside info.
- A sixth item to this list … although it is not a question, it is probably the most important, relevant piece of your interviewing process! How do they interact with your pet(s)? Do they seem comfortable? How do your pets react? Animals have a sixth sense, you know! They will be able to help you choose the best fit!
For more information, Shawna can be contacted at www.housecallpetservices.com or 720-384-6685.