This time of year Walkies gets a ton of new client inquiries for dog walking. Whether they become our client, are out of our service area or are looking for something that we can’t quite accommodate I ALWAYS leave them with these 5 Tips in Hiring A Pet Sitter. If we can’t give them service, I truly want to make sure they can find the best possible for their situation!
1. Choose the Professional Pet Sitting Service rather than the One Man Show
Even though they may be slightly more expensive, trust me, it’s worth the reliability, trust and coverage. Professional Pet Sitting Services have experience, insurance and a client base of references that can all give you peace of mind. These services have stood the test of time, have already gone through the growing pains of a new business and have ironed out any wrinkles of customer dis-satisfacion. These services also have multiple sitters on staff so should your regular or “assigned” sitter get sick or have an emergency, your pets are covered. NOTE ON SITTERS OR WALKERS: Go with a service that places you with one sitter, and one back-up sitter. It’s not good for your pet or home to have a service that sends multiple sitters. Make sure they are insured.
2. A Website is Key
In this day and age there is no reason that a reputable and professional service doesn’t have a website, in fact, in my opinion it’s unacceptable. A website is a sign the the business owner takes their business seriously, has invested in their business and wants to be authentic and upfront an honest about who they are. A good website should have their services and rates, sitters or walkers and some testimonials at the very least.
3. ALWAYS meet the sitter OR walker BEFORE you hire them and let them in your home alone
A registration or meet and greet allows you to get to know your assigned sitter and their service. Be sure they perform the following tasks: introduce themselves to you and your pet, pick up keys, confirm pertinent information about you and your pet (e.g. vet information, emergency contact, special requests, etc.), and answer any additional questions you may have. And of course give lots of hugs and kisses to your pet! A professional service will provide you with a list of questions about your pet, pet’s routine, any instructions for your home and vet information, at the very least. You want someone to have as much information as possible since they will be acting as a “stand in” for you. Your sitter should treat your pet and home the way you would. If a sitter or walker shows up aloof and cold, chances are that’s how they will be with your pet. Trust your gut…if you EVER feel uneasy go with someone else. Always feel free to ask for references…it’s your right to know the person in your home.
4. Say “NO” to a pack walker
If you want your dog to be socialized, send them to daycare once or twice a week…it only cost a little more per day, and will ensure the safety of your dog and your wallet. Not only are pack walks unfair to your dog when what they are missing is human love and interaction, more importantly it is a potentially dangerous situation for them and other dogs to be in. When dogs are in a pack, all it takes is for 2 of them to have an altercation, and the rest of the pack decides who is right and ALL gang up on one. In this case, there is one walker, 2 hands and multiple dogs fighting which clearly is a terrible formula, not to mention if their insurance covers pack walks and ALL of the vet bills accrued. The only pack that should be walked is the one that lives your home together.
5. Appreciate your dog walker or pet sitter!
Don’t treat your dog walker or pet sitter like “help.” Be grateful for them. They love your pets and take care of your home when you are unable to, and for not very much money when you think about what the job responsibility actually is. You trust them with your “baby,” your home and all of your possessions…treat them well, pay them on time and tip them at Christmas.