Finding a Last-Minute Pet Sitter

March 5, 2013 | By Jessica Remitz via Pet360

Pet Sitter

As you plan last-minute holiday travel details, you’ll have to determine whether or not to leave your pet at home. There are a variety of options when it comes to your animal’s care, including hiring a professional. Here’s all you need to know when it comes to finding the right pet sitter for you.

Finding a qualified, professional pet sitter to watch over your cat or dog can provide you with peace of mind as you travel. According to the Humane Society, bringing a pet sitter into your home will keep your pet on a familiar schedule in the place they know best. They’ll get personalized attention while you’re gone and relief from staying in an unfamiliar place with other animals. Having a pet sitter come to you will also, according to the Human Society, allow someone to watch over your home while you’re away.

Selecting the Best Pet Sitter

Because you’re granting such open access to your home while you’re gone, not to mention your favorite four-legged friend, make sure to do your due diligence when finding the right pet sitter for you. According to the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS), safety should be your top priority when selecting a sitter. Ask for a recommendation from a friend, veterinarian or local dog trainer. Think of specific questions you’d like to ask your potential sitter and have them share more than one reference. NAPPS recommends requesting proof of bonding and liability insurance coverage to make sure your animal is covered while you’re away.

Bring a potential pet sitter to your home to meet your animals and make sure they interact well. Find out if he or she is associated with an emergency veterinarian and if they’ll keep a detailed record during your time away. The Humane Society also recommends you ask your potential sitter about what kind of training they’ve completed and find out if they’ll provide any additional services including grooming, dog walking and training time. Once you find a pet sitter you like, start with a short weekend away and work up to longer stretches of time.

Making Your Pet Sitter Feel at Home

There are a few things you can do to make your pet sitter feel welcome in your home and able to do his or her job to the best of their ability. Make sure to leave your sitter with a list of emergency numbers and a detailed itinerary of your trip. The Humane Society also recommends leaving clear instructions for your sitter and providing them with extra supplies in case you’re away longer than planned.

Is your pet up-to-date on vaccines? Do they have current identification tags on their collar? Check all of this before your pet sitter takes charge. And don't forget to show your sitter around your home before you leave, too. They will need to be able to locate your circuit breakers and arm a home security system, if you have one.

To find a pet sitter in your area, visit NAPPS or Pet Sitters International.

You may also enjoy the customized searching at http://dogvacay.com.

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