How to find a pet sitter when all your friends are out of town
During the holidays, everyone is traveling all over the place to see friends and family. That means that when you embark on your own holiday vacation, the friend you typically call on to take care of your cat or dog might be out of town at the same time. Don’t panic. There are alternatives. You just need to find them. Follow these steps to land the best pet sitter for your pup or kitty.
- Ask around. Good old-fashioned word of mouth is still one of the best ways to find a pet sitter who you can trust. Ask any friends who are also pet owners if they can recommend someone to watch your critter. You can also request a suggestion from your vet, who likely has professional relationships with pet sitters in the area.
- Look online. If your friends are having a hard time coming up with any helpful suggestions, turn your attention to the internet. Care.com is a good place to start because it not only offers professional babysitters and caretakers, it also has a separate section exclusively for pet sitters. These are trusted individuals with reviews you can pore over before hiring. Yelp.com is another great resource. If your pet sitter has any kind of professional presence, like a formal business with a website, chances are you’ll find reviews on Yelp. Since they come directly from customers, you can trust the content of these reviews.
- Make sure they’re insured. If you do find a pet sitter who suits you, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your work is done. There are a few things you should check out before hiring someone. For one thing, you need a pet sitter who is insured. If something were to happen when he or she is watching your pet, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that it’s covered by the pet sitter’s professional insurance.
- Look for PSI certification. Another requirement you should look for is the Professional Pet Sitter certification from Pet Sitters International (PSI). Only pet sitters who can conquer the PSI’s intense round of testing, which quizzes them on various aspects of pet care and business practices, are awarded this certification. So the Certified Professional Pet Sitter is essentially the cream of the crop, and you can rest assured anyone bearing the seal is a top-notch companion for your pet.
- Board instead. Maybe you just can’t find the right pet sitter to come into your home. Perhaps it’s a matter of conflicting schedules, or it could be that you just don’t get a good vibe from any of the potential sitters you’ve interviewed. In this case, consider boarding your cat or dog instead. Again, you can check Yelp and other online review sites to find the right boarding facility for your pooch or cat. And if you find one that’s comfortable, affordable, and staffed by caring animal lovers, you should feel totally guilt-free when you leave Fido there. Most boarding facilities also stream their animals live, so you can check in on your pet anytime you’re connected to the internet.
Finding the right pet sitter for you & your pets [Pet Sitters International]
Choosing a Pet Sitter [The Humane Society of the United States]