~Pet Sitters: Find the Perfect One for You~
Written by Amber Kingsley
Not long after my Father had passed away, I got my Mother a little Shih Tzu puppy for her birthday. Mostly for companionship, since I was worried about her living by herself and being lonely.
Although I did my research and homework about adopting this particular breed, I had no idea what an excellent choice I had made until they bonded. This little purebred is practically perfect for her in every way and has also become her shadow and vice versa.
Later on, I got her a specific Shih Tzu related book for Christmas, a complex guide to the ownership of these precious little puppies. This helped to affirm what I already knew, these little furballs own you and not the other way around.
Having a life-long relationship with my loving and caring mother, it was no big surprise to me to find out that she was doting on this little one almost non-stop.
She takes him for his daily walk, regular, annual trips to see the veterinarian, semi-monthly visits to the groomer and even has a professional “babysitting” service to care for him while she’s away (even though I’ve offered to do it for free).
But then again, when I was a youngster, she wouldn’t just let anyone watch over me. Potential babysitters had to go through a grueling process to meet her high expectations of care and love necessary during her absence.
As pet lovers, we’ll agree that this is an important decision, and we need to ask ourselves many important questions when we surrender the care of our beloved animals to another individual.
In this light, here’s six points to ponder when hiring a pet sitter for our four-legged best friend:
While traditional kid sitters may plop down in front of the TV while our children are at play, when it comes to watching our pets, they need more than a casual visit and a bowl of food. We need to know that they’ll be exercised, played with, paid attention to, groomed daily and all their needs are met accordingly.
Some four-legged critters need special care and attention since they may have a medical condition that requires medication. Maybe it’s an insulin shot for diabetes or simply a vitamin extract that’s added to their food. In any event, your professional care provider shouldn’t have a problem with these unique circumstances.
Answering a question with multiple questions, are they licensed, bonded and insured? Can they provide references? Do they have a business license in your city, county or state? Do they have an agreement or contract that needs to be signed?
While you’re inquiring about them, they should also be
asking you some important questions about your pet. This will show you that
they care just as much about your animal as you. If you forget about an
important piece of information, they should pick up on this potentially
dangerous predicament and be prepared in case you forgot something.
Naturally you’ll give them your veterinarian’s contact information, but what happens if they’re unavailable or something happens outside of regular business hours, do they have a backup plan in case of an emergency? They should provide you with an alternative method for giving your pet a practical solution for an unforeseen event.
This may sound like a ridiculous question to ask, but you never know, some businesses are just out for a quick buck and don’t have staff that are particularly pet friendly. Visit their website and you should see pictures of the people who are working for them playing with animals. Even better, you should schedule a visit with the person that will be providing your pet with their primary care and see if they make a connection.
Having a professional pet sitter is a great alternative to boarding them at a kennel or entrusting their care to a friend or family member. You’ll get some tremendous peace of mind knowing that you’re leaving your best friend in the most qualified care available.
Amber Kingsley is a freelance writer whom has donated countless hours supporting her local shelters. With writing, she has spent most of her research on animals with regards to food, health and training.