Caring pet owners know that most pets adjust better to their owner’s absence and experience less anxiety and stress when they can remain their home environments. Pet sitters make this possible with daily visits to your home. In addition to meals, exercise, playtime and cleaning litter boxes or cages, professional pet sitters may also administer medications, walk dogs and perform other pet-care duties. That’s why in-home pet care is the choice of pet owners and the “pet-preferred” method of vacation and travel care.
Pet sitters may also provide vital home-care services while you are away, including mail or newspaper pick up, plant care and watering, placing trash outside for pickup or rotating the lights and opening or closing the blinds to make your house look lived in. A professional pet sitter provides peace of mind for everyone.
- Reduced Stress. Your pet stays in its own familiar secure environment where all the sights, smells and sounds say “Home!”
- Diet and Exercise. Your pet stays in a familiar routine–enjoying his or her favorite foods and play areas.
- No “Travel Trauma.” Travel in a vehicle to boarding facility or kennel may upset your pet.
- Health Concerns. With a pet sitter, there is minimal exposure to illness of other animals.
- T. L. C. Most importantly, your pet receives love and personal attention while you are away.
- Travel. You are more freely able to travel on business or for pleasure with the confidence of knowing your beloved pet is in the hands of a professional care giver.
- No Imposition. You don’t have to impose on a friend, neighbor or relative to care for your pet, but instead rely on a pet care professional who will put you pet’s needs first.
- Security. Your home is made more secure by the crime deterrent services provided by most pet-sitting services.
- Peace of Mind. While you’re away, you can feel confident your pet is in capable, caring hands.
- Special Services. Pet sitters can provide additional home services while caring for your pet, such as watering plants and bringing in the mail
Preparation can make a big difference in how smoothly things go for your pet when the pet sitter comes to visit. Here are some tips:
- Make sure the pet sitter has a phone number where you can be reached. If inside services are requested, provide the pet sitter with a house key in addition to garage door openers. If you have new keys made, try them out to make sure they work.
- Clean food and water dishes before leaving town.
- Provide extra food, litter and other supplies just in case you’re not able to return when planned.
- Clean out the refrigerator to avoid smelly food spoilage and wash the dishes in the sink to prevent ants, flies or other pests.
- Adjust the thermostat to keep the house comfortable for the pet during your absence. In warm weather, a closed-up house can get dangerously hot in a short time.
- Leave a list of phone numbers in case the pet sitter needs to contact service or maintenance companies while you are away; i.e., plumber, electrician, cleaning service, yard maintenance, pool service, etc.
- Tell the pet sitter of any household areas that are off-limits to your pets or to the pet sitter. Secure access to those areas before leaving home.
You can help your pet sitter be a better friend to your pet by helping to make sure there are no problems while you are away. Planning and preparation in the following areas will smooth the way:
- Tell the pet sitter about all health problems your pet may have—major or minor.
- Provide written verification that your pet is up to date on its vaccinations.
- Make sure your dog’s collar fits—Otherwise he may slip out of a too-large collar while being walked.
- If your dog is not accustomed to walking on a leash, practice with him before you leave.
- Make a list of your pet’s favorite hiding places. This will prevent the pet sitter from worrying if your pet is not where expected—the sitter will know where to look.
- Provide your own preferred method of flea control, even if your pets are currently flea free. Fleas multiply rapidly and can become a problem very quickly.
- If you own both dogs and cats, do not ask the sitter to “just ignore the cats;” i.e., not charge, during pet-sitting visits. A sitter’s professionalism, ethic responsibility and conscience would not allow the oversight of a cat in need of food, medical care or human attention.
- If your dog growls or snaps at a pet sitter during a ‘get-acquainted visit,” understand that the pet sitter may ask that you make other arrangements for your dog’s care during your absence.
Pet Sitters International was founded in 1994 to promote, support and recognize excellence in pet sitting. When you hire a PSI member, you are hiring a professional who believes in the quality service and high standards that PSI promotes.
With a staff that has a combined 45+ years of experience in pet-sitting services, PSI has developed a wide range of pet-care, business and educational resources. Only PSI members have access to this wealth of information, the latest in industry trends, new products and services that can benefit you as a pet owner.
Our members are pet sitters because they love pets. PSI provides educational services, information and accreditation programs to help our members to better care for the pets that you love, too.