As the world starts to reopen after the worst of the pandemic is over, many pet parents are now making the hard choice of leaving their beloved pets home or leaving them with family so that they won’t be alone for the whole day as they ease back into their office jobs. With the constant attention that pets have had throughout recent years, it’s no wonder that the new transition would be hard on them as it is on us. This is why a lot of pet parents are now considering hiring a pet sitter to take care of their pets during the day, especially for those with pets that experience a lot of separation anxiety.
To celebrate Pet Sitter’s Week this March 7 to March 13, we’ve compiled some of the best characteristics that pet sitters should have — and most pet sitters do!
8 Characteristics to Find in a Pet Sitter
1. They Need to Be Big Pet Lovers
When you’re looking for pet sitters, the first characteristic you should find is that they’re also pet lovers and that they are passionate about pet care. This is to ensure that you’ll be leaving your pets with someone who has been around animals for the better portion of their lives and that they know how to handle and bond with your pet. You don’t want a pet sitter who is impatient or is inexperienced in pet care.
2. They’re Knowledgeable About Emergency Care
Whenever you’re leaving your home, there’s always a chance that your pet might get into an unfortunate accident or be exposed to a dangerous situation. Make sure that your pet sitter is knowledgeable about emergency measures and he or she knows the best practices for possible scenarios. It will also be great if they know your pet’s veterinarian or they know a vet who is near your location so that he or she knows where to bring your pet in case of emergencies.
3. They Have Excellent Communication Skills
Excellent communication skills often translate to building a great rapport with pets. When looking for a pet sitter, find someone who can clearly articulate what they want to say. This will also ensure that they will be able to understand and apply all of your pet’s needs when you do leave your pet in their care.
4. They Can Bond With Your Pet
Your pet needs to have a great relationship with the pet sitter that you hire, which means that they need to be introduced to each other even before the pet sitting starts. To test out whether your pet and the pet sitter will get along with each other, schedule a day or at least a few hours when you can introduce your pet to their future sitter and get them to warm up to him or her. In some cases, some pets might have a hard time bonding with specific people, which may be extremely challenging to find a workaround on.
5. They Are Well-Informed About Pet Care
As pet sitters, they need to know the basics about pet care, like feeding practices, grooming, and exercise needs. These might be general knowledge for a lot of pet owners, but pet sitters should also be knowledgeable about these things so that they can offer the best care for your pets.
It’s also a plus if they know specific care knowledge about your pet’s breed so that they can offer the best support for your pet or they know specifically how to handle your pet’s quirks. For example, if you have a kelpie, a knowledgeable pet sitter will know how to handle their high-energy personalities by incorporating play and exercise into their daily routine.
6. They Are Flexible in Terms of Time and Availability
You’d want a pet sitter who can easily accommodate your schedule and is available to care for your pets with advanced notice. In some cases, you’d want a pet sitter who is wholly dedicated to the craft of pet sitting so that you can ask for their help and services whenever you become unavailable due to work or any other possible situations.
7. They Have Great Reviews and Experience
You’d want a pet sitter who has extensive experience in pet sitting and has the reviews to back them up. Ask for character references so you can make sure that they are high-performing and trustworthy pet sitters who can take care of your beloved pet.
8. Are They Insured?
Experienced pet sitters know that anything can happen during pet sitting. With pet specific insurance, the pet sitters and your pets are covered as long as they are left in their care — whether they acquire injuries while taking care of your pet or your pet accidentally causes damages to other people’s properties. This insurance not only protects the pet sitter, but it also keeps your pets insured if ever they do encounter unfortunate accidents and situations.
While these reminders should be heeded by pet parents, aspiring pet parents should also keep these in mind if ever they’re planning on adopting a puppy. Maybe you’ve seen a few kelpie puppies for sale, or you’ve found the perfect adult dog from the shelter — Having an experienced pet sitter should be at the top of your priorities if you’re planning on taking care of a new dog on top of an office job or a job that keeps you out of your home for long periods of time.