There are certain situations where you have to leave your beloved furbaby for a few days or weeks. These circumstances are unavoidable especially if that’s an errand or trip that you can’t miss.
Being separated from them for a while is heartbreaking enough, but what makes it more nerve-wracking is finding someone reliable that can take care of your pet. After all, it’s important to leave them to trustworthy pet sitters.
If you’re a furparent who’s in need of a pet sitter, it’s important to choose carefully. Aside from them being the temporary guardian of your pet, you’ll also let a stranger into your house. Not unless your family member or someone that you know is willing to take on this job. However, whether you’re hiring a stranger or not, it’s important to vet them and establish a clear agreement to avoid conflict. Here are some of the crucial questions to ask before officially hiring a pet sitter.
1. How long have you been pet-sitting?
It’s important to find out how long they have been doing this in able for you to gauge their expertise in pet sitting. Typically, this question is often asked to a sitter and the candidate would be glad to share his/her skill set.
2. What kind of experience do you have in pet sitting?
This is usually a follow-up question to the first one that we’ve mentioned. Aside from the years or months of experience in pet sitting, it’s important to find out if they’ve been trained to take care of pets. You can ask if they’re part of an organization and if they trained for this job.
3. Do you have some references?
Just like any job interview, it’s essential to do a background check on your candidate. This way, you can find out from others if they’re a reliable pet sitter or not. Anybody can put a reference for a person so ideally, it would be nice to have a variety of character references from different areas and timelines (could be from a pet owner that they’ve worked with a year prior or the most recent ones).
4. How much is your fee?
Like any other job offering, discussing the terms and conditions is important to avoid any miscommunication in the future. Here, you can negotiate on the terms such as the frequency of their visit to your pet, how often should they walk or feed them, whether are they comfortable with your rules when it comes to sending updates, and more. The fee should also be discussed before they take care of your pet – you can discuss the hours of stay or whether will there be overtime pay. You can also ask if they have a written agreement that you can sign on and in case of emergencies like injuries, who would pay for the fees? Make a list of your terms and discuss this with your potential pet sitter.
5. Do you have any experience with my kind of animal?
Whether it be dogs, cats, or other types of animals, we all know that they all have different personalities. It would be nice to know if they have had experience taking care of a pet that’s similar to your pet’s breed. This way, you can also give pointers on how your pet usually behaves and teach them about what you usually have to do whenever your pet behaves a certain way.
6. Will you be able to handle any kind of emergency?
Emergencies are something that’s unexpected even for pet owners. If a pet gets sick or choked on something, will the pet sitter be able to handle it? Discuss with your potential pet sitters if they know first aid for pets, too.
7. Will you be the one personally checking on my pet?
There are some instances wherein you’ve negotiated with a particular pet sitter only for them to send someone else on their behalf the next day. It’s important for you to be forewarned so discuss whether they’ll be hands-on with taking care of your pet or they’ll call someone to check on your pet. The latter arrangement needs to be communicated with the pet owner in advance. Letting people into your house and taking care of your pet should be cleared in advance.
8. Do you have a contingency plan?
If there’s some kind of an emergency and they weren’t able to respond to it, what would be their second option? It would also make you feel comfortable if you’re hiring someone that knows how to plan ahead and care for your pet as much as you do.
9. Do you have a police clearance?
You can ask your potential pet sitter to provide government-issued IDs for your own security. They’d know the ins and outs of your house and in case something happens to your pet, you’d also know where to reach them.
10. How do you usually secure the house and keys?
Aside from taking care of your pet, pet sitters should also be mindful of your property. This way, you can also instruct them about your home security.