Consider this first-hand advice from an industry expert to ensure a successful stay with the pet sitter.
As a former pet care provider, I've had my fair share of overnight visits and stays, both in-house and elsewhere. Over the years, I've had the pleasure of meeting a wide variety of people and their pets, each with a different set of needs and concerns to be addressed and considered.
In that time I've learned a lot about giving pets what they need, and have also picked up a few pet sitting tips to help make the whole process run as smoothly as possible for everyone involved.
Here are just a few bits of information I always try to gather to help make for a successful stay for any pet sit.
There is no such thing as too much information.
When a pet sitter is taking care of your beloved companion for the first time, we don't want to be caught in a position of unpreparedness should an issue arise. I've had former clients meet me at the door with four pages of printed instructions along with a shy and somewhat embarrassed apology; but let me assure you - nothing is more valuable than information when it comes to caring for someone else's pet.
We want to know your poochie's favorite pee spots, and we need to know how that complicated collar works. Veterinary contact info, feeding schedules, favorite toys or treats- these are all important things to know, and covering all the bases helps us help you enjoy your trip. Most pet sitters tend to take notes of the specifics, but if your pet care regimen involves anything outside of the usual food/water/potty breaks routine, it helps to have something to reference, especially when medication is involved.
Those little details mean the world to us.
Most people have a routine with their pets, and have learned the quirks and habits that make their companion extra special. Sometimes that could mean offering your buddy a warm spot under the blanket while you watch TV, and other times it might mean crossing the street when you see another dog approaching in order to avoid a potential spat.
You know that stuff, but we don't, so if there is anything you tend to consider or keep in mind on any given day with your pooch, we would love to hear about it. The bottom line here is this - we don't ever want to set your pet up to fail, make them uncomfortable, or expose anyone to danger, so helping us avoid potential triggers or pitfalls can help to avoid a stressful situation for both your pet and pet sitter.
Be upfront about the number of pets we're expected to care for.
I cannot tell you how many times I've arrived at a pet sit or consult, expecting to care for one dog, and being met with an additional two cats, a rabbit, and goldfish. It may not seem like much extra effort to drop dry food in a dish or scoop a litter box if we're already there, but walking into a situation like that just puts us in an unfair position.
Some sitters charge more per pet. Some sitters are allergic to cats. And some sitters just don't appreciate surprises like that when it comes to their livelihood. Any good pet sitter wants to provide the best service possible, and by being up front about the work we're expected to do, you allow us to better prepare to do just that.
Let us know if we should check in.
When it comes to pet owners there are two types of people - the laid-back type, and the helicopter parent. I've had people ask me to check in with an email or text at the end of the day, and I've had other clients straight-up ask me not to contact them unless it is an absolute emergency.
Again, we are here to make your time away as comfortable and stress-free as possible, so if you have a preference just let us know!
I can't speak for everyone, but I would guess that the majority of people employed as pet care providers do it because they love working with animals. We want to provide incredible service not only for your peace of mind and your pet's comfort and safety, but because it makes our jobs that much easier, and when your pet has our full attention, they get to receive the best possible care.
When we have all the info we need to provide the best service possible, everyone wins, especially your furry friends!
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