Whether it’s a regular dog walker during the week, cat sitting cover while you’re on holiday or just someone to watch your furry friends so that you can have the day off – finding pet care can be a great solution for worry-free ‘me-time’.
After browsing pet caregivers near you and choosing candidates to consider the topics below will help you interview them effectively to find the right ones for you and your pet.
All sorts of pet lovers are good at taking care of pets. Make sure that your sitter is trained appropriately for your needs. If you need a dog walker, then someone experienced at doing so would be great. If you have a pet that is unwell or needs special care, then someone with the appropriate training would be best. Make sure that you ask the carer about their specific job experience. A person who loves animals but has no experience caring for one may not be the right match for you.
Do you have a back-up pet sitter and a vet on call? Create a list of emergency contacts for your sitter. Ask your sitter if she has ever handled a pet care emergency. Discuss what to do in case she has an emergency with your pet.
Rates & Services
Make a clear list of what you want your pet sitter to do and discuss each point. Do you want your pet to be groomed while you are gone? Do you need a dog walker? Do you think it’s important that he spend at least an hour a day playing fetch with your dog? A pet sitter can do all these things. But you need to find out if your pet sitter will do them and what they typically charge for each service.
Get three references and call them. Checking referencesis vital to getting quality care, so make sure you go through with it. Ask what services the sitter provided them, when and why she ended her employment with them, and what their level of satisfaction was with the sitter’s service. If you are a busy person, you can ask for a reference check at the footer of the pet caregiver profile page.
Meet & Greet
Does your pet even like your pet sitter? All the training in the world would not forestall a bad match here. You don’t want to set your pet up on a blind date. Be sure to schedule a get-to-know-you meeting at your home or in a local park. Pets and their caregivers need to have good chemistry!
This covers many dire contingencies (accidents, negligence, theft of your property, and more). If not, you need to have a frank discussion about your sitter’s roles and responsibilities. Check your homeowner’s insurance to see what situations would be covered in case your sitter or your pet damages something in your home.
How Many Others?
A full dance card, so to speak, means less special attention for your pet. Make sure your pet sitter has time for your pet.
Questions & Answers
If the pet sitter doesn’t seem especially curious about your pet, that is a red flag. Pet carers should not only show interest in your pet and the job you’re offering, but should also ask questions to clarify roles and responsibilities. Give them the opportunity to give you background information about what motivates them to provide great pet care.