HIRE A PROFESSIONAL
Your friend or neighbor may be able to care for your pet while you are gone, but when you hire a National Capital Area Professional Pet Sitters Network member; you can rest assured that the well-being of your pet will be their top priority.
Advantages For Your Pet
- Your pet stays in the comfort and security of his/her own home, surrounded by the sights,
- sounds, and scents most familiar to him/her.
- Your pet stays on his/her customary diet and exercise routine.
- Your pet receives personalized individual attention.
- Your pet is not directly exposed to illness, noise, or stress that may be present in a kennel.
- Pets receive consistent, loving and customized care from the same pet sitter, allowing bonding between them. Your pet feels more secure, and your pet sitter is more readily able to recognize behavior that may require medical attention.
Advantages For You
- While you are away, you can feel confident your pet is in capable and caring hands.
- No need to transport your pet, and best of all, your pet is waiting for you when you get home.
- To aid in crime deterrence, pet sitters can rotate lights and blinds, and bring in your newspaper and mail to give your home a lived-in look.
- No imposing on friends, family, and neighbors, all of whom have their own busy schedules. Pet sitters make your pet’s care their number one priority.
- Network members have clear business policies, procedures, and documentation in place for your protection and theirs.
- Network Members companies have carefully thought out back-up and emergency plans for your pet’s safety.
- You will have peace of mind knowing that your pets are receiving the best care possible.
Taking the time to research and interview a prospective pet sitter is very important. Depending on your needs, this person is trusted with your home, to reliably provide care for your pet, and to respond appropriately to household or veterinary emergencies during their visits. In addition, the relationship you and your pet develop with your pet sitter will ideally provide you great peace of mind while you are away! Though the following questions to ask a prospective pet sitter is only a guideline, it can serve as a start for getting to know your pet sitter and understanding what to expect when establishing a relationship with him/her.
- Are you bonded and insured?
- How long have you been in business?
- What is your fee and what does it include? (Be sure to mention all pets in your household.)
- Do you have experience caring for pets like mine (geriatric, medication administration, large dogs, reptiles, etc…)?
- Is there a fee for the consultation/registration?
- Can you provide references?
- Do you have back up personnel should you become ill or are otherwise unavailable?
- What is your protocol should my pet become ill while in your care?
- If there is severe inclement weather, how do you insure my pet receives care?
- For service when I am out of town, do you provide any crime deterrence service such as bringing in my mail/newspaper and rotating my lights and blinds? If so, is there an additional fee for this?
- Any questions that relate to a special need or circumstance you may have such as invisible fences, policy on outdoor cats, use of garage instead of front door, people staying at or entering your home during service (i.e. a cleaning crew), etc.
- Will the person doing the consultation be my walker/pet sitter?
After selecting a service provider, they will want to set up a time to meet with you and your pet and learn more about how you care for him/her. Be sure to ask whether the person holding the consultation will be your actual walker/sitter. Although each company operates their business differently, in general, this is what can be anticipated during your initial consultation:
- Get acquainted with client and meet pet. Take note how the pet sitter interacts with your pet.
- Are they interested and comfortable?
- Review and sign the service agreement.
- Complete forms regarding your pet’s care: where you keep things in the house for his care, emergency contact information and veterinary treatment authorization for emergencies.
- Confirm that vaccinations are current. Have a copy of your pet’s vaccination record handy.
- Give the pet sitter two sets of previously tested keys to your home. This may vary from company to company.
- Confirm and pay for initial service. How this is treated may vary from company to company.
- Show your pet sitter where you keep supplies for your pet and where the water main shut off and circuit breaker and other items to care for your house are located.
- Re-test keys prior to departure.
Before you leave for your trip, make sure these things are in place to make for a smooth transition for your sitter and your pet:
For Your Pet
- Your pet will need to be up to date on vaccinations. While this is a complicated topic, you and your veterinarian should be in agreement on specific vaccinations or titers that your pet needs to maintain optimal health.
- Make sure that your pet’s collar fits properly and that an identification tag with current contact information is attached. If you are using an invisible fence, make sure batteries are fresh and the system is working properly before you leave.
- Have extra food, litter, medications and other supplies in case you are delayed in returning home.
- Place medicines and pill pockets out where the sitter can access them (but out of reach of your pet!).
- Put out leash and potty bags.
For Your Sitter
- Confirm all visit dates and times with your sitter prior to service commencing.Provide your pet sitter precise feeding instructions.
- To insure accurate administration of medication, label prescriptions clearly along with dosage.
- Provide your pet sitter flight itinerary and lodging information.
- Let your pet sitter know where your pet’s crate/carrier is located. Keep it accessible in case your pet needs to be transported or evacuated.
- If you have an alarm system, make sure to test it, and provide your pet sitter with both the keypad code, as well as the spoken password, in case of a false alarm.
- To avoid concern by neighbors it is appropriate to let them know that a professional pet sitter will be caring for your house and pets while you are away.
Call your sitter upon your return home to let them know that your pets are back under your care. This insures that there is no break in care coverage for your pets should you be delayed.