By Therese Kopiwoda
The pet sitting business is booming! This is because pet owners are discovering the peace of mind and convenience of being able to keep their pets at home when they themselves need to travel or work long hours. For those who have never used the services of a professional pet sitter though, the first time can be a bit nerve-wracking. There's a lot of ground to cover in looking for, and hiring, a professional pet sitter. With a little research and planning though, the experience can go quite smoothly for pet owners and pets alike.
Most pet sitters will set up a time to come to your home to meet with you and your pets before taking care of them. They'll use this time to get acquainted with you and your pet, learn about your pet's routine, explain policies, answer your questions, etc. This is also the time for you to ask questions of the pet sitter, explain exactly what you need, and determine if he or she is a good fit for you and your pets.
Here are a few major points to discuss when you meet with a potential pet sitter:
Experience and training: While there is no training required to become a pet sitter, it's a good idea to find out what type of experience the pet sitter has. Ask how long the person has been pet sitting, if he or she has cared for your type of pet, and if he or she has taken classes such as pet first aid, pet behavior, or dog training.
References: Ask for references from clients and contact them. Ask about their experiences and whether or not they would hire the pet sitter again. Many pet sitters are also happy to give references from other pet care professionals such as veterinarians, groomers, or trainers.