From booking your flight and accommodations to squaring things away at work, there’s so much to plan before traveling. As a pet owner, you’ve got the additional responsibility of arranging your furry friend’s care and worrying about them in your absence. Here’s why hiring a sitter minimizes pet care stress, along with tips to prepare for a successful sitting.
Benefits of Hiring a Pet Sitter
While choosing between boarding or at-home care for your pet is a personal decision, surveys show there’s notable growth in the pet sitting market. That’s not surprising, given the reasons sitter services trump kenneling in the minds of many owners.
Being separated from their families is understandably stressful for pets. Remaining at home, surrounded by familiar sights, sounds, and smells, limits that anxiety. Choosing in-home care also bolsters acclimatization for recently adopted cats or dogs. Hiring a caregiver ensures your pet receives individualized attention and that their specialized needs aren’t overlooked in a crowded kennel. Whether your sitter stays at your house or drops by occasionally, your pet will enjoy one-on-one interactions and have their meals and potty breaks on a normal schedule.
Finding the Perfect Sitter
When opting for sitting instead of boarding, begin looking for a suitable caregiver as soon as you know you’re traveling. That way you’ll have time to research and vet candidates for ideal compatibility and reliability. Cull your options by determining whether you’re looking for a live-in sitter or one who works on a visiting basis.
After identifying sitters who appear to be good fits, reach out to ask about their qualifications, licensing, certifications and request references. Before contracting with a caregiver, arrange an in-home meeting to introduce your pet and have any questions answered. Both you and your pet should be comfortable with the sitter you choose, so don’t be afraid to press candidates for details about their experiences and to clearly express your expectations.
Planning For Your Pet’s Care
Once you’ve found the ideal watcher, create a checklist to be sure your pet has what’s needed in your absence. Plan to have ample food and medication on hand, and prepare a list of emergency contacts including your regular vet, nearby after-hours medical facilities, and friends who could assist if there’s an issue. Schedule email and phone updates on a regular basis while you’re gone.
Acquiring other items might help your sitter and pet adjust to each other. Tasty treats may make your cat more eager to interact with a stranger, while a new harness facilitates comfort and control during walks led by someone unfamiliar with your dog’s habits. Be smart and use online ratings to find customer-approved items, but look beyond customer feedback and buy from a website that also provides trustworthy veterinary reviews. You’ll be more relaxed on your trip when you’re confident that your purchases support your pet’s safety and well-being.
Hiring a pet sitter to care for your four-legged family member the next time you leave town makes your getaway less stressful for you and your pet. Engaging a qualified caregiver and preparing them to pamper and provide for your pet while you’re gone ensures that both you and your animal companion will enjoy your time away.
Featured Photo Credit: Pixabay