There are many factors that go into selecting the best care situation for your pet when you’re traveling. Each pet is unique, and so are their needs. How do you select the sitter who will help them thrive?
Right Pet Sitter
Determining the who first requires you to address the what, when, where, and why. Assessing these answers will lead you straight to your solution.
There’s a wide range of services that sitters can provide. Do you need a doggy daycare provider to look after your excitable pup three work days each week? A one-off pet-sitter for a short trip? Or an ongoing caregiver to meet a variety of needs?
Expertise and certification also have weight. A professional dog trainer, an experienced shelter volunteer, or a veterinary assistant all bring special skills that might be very important to you, depending on your situation. Knowing what you’re looking for is essential to finding the best fit. Your pet’s personality and specific requirements are the guiding factors. Most pet-sitters are animal lovers who have experienced a wide variety of relevant situations; if you have any questions about what they can handle, just ask.
The sooner you know your dates of travel, the sooner you can plan–and find the right person for the job. The best sitter does you no good if they’re unavailable, or if someone else books them first. Regularly updated sitter calendars and a search-by-date function are key features to look for on a pet-sitting website.
The length of the stay may also affect your choice. Leaving town for a month means you’ll need to take great care in evaluating the connection between sitter and pet beforehand. One or two nights, on the other hand, can serve as a great test run for determining fit.
Does your dog live to roam? Is your kitty a homebody at heart? The question of where they’ll stay is significant. If your pet is frequently cooped up, then staying in a home with a giant fenced yard might be the perfect vacation. On the other hand, anxious animals typically prefer to stay in their own homes.
Some sitters will come to your home; others host in their own. They may even have other pets to look after. A social, energy-filled setting will be perfect for some pets, while others will benefit from tons of one-on-one attention and playtime in the comfort of their own backyard. Either way, be sure to ease your pet into the transition, and look for a sitter who can stick to your pet’s daily routine to help them feel at ease.
This is where you’ll really get to know your candidate. Do they love the joy that animals bring into their lives, or is pet-sitting just another job?
In addition to understanding the sitter’s motivation, think about your own–and your pet’s. How can they benefit from a new, short-term dynamic? What would get them most excited and keep them happy while you’re away? These kinds of questions can help you approach the meet-and-greet interview thoughtfully and get clear about what you need.
With your criteria in mind, you’re ready to make your selection! Turn to a reputable, selective website like Rover.com that screens potential sitters and runs background checks. Rover offers 24/7 sitter support, insures each stay, and securely processes payments.
Whatever service you turn to, you’ll want to carefully review well-rated sitter profiles and meet up with potential sitters prior to scheduling your first stay. You’re on your way to a successful sit, a happy pet, and a worry-free vacation!