Dogs are much more than just pets—they are four-legged family members. The same thought and consideration used to choose the best daycare for a child should also be exercised when it comes to hiring a dog sitter. With a little bit of research, you can find a qualified caretaker to for your dog while you are traveling.
Ask Around. Start your search by asking your neighbors if they know of a professional dog sitter that they would recommend. Ideally, the caretaker will be located in your apartment community, but don’t rule out a highly endorsed dog sitter outside of the complex. Your groomer, veterinarian or trainer may also know of good people who would be willing to watch and walk your dog while you are gone.
Or, you might try searching the internet. The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters is a great resource.
Interview Candidates. Before you hire anyone, take the time to interview a few candidates in your home. Watch how they interact with your canine companion and make sure that your pet is comfortable with the person. A few of the questions you might want to ask are:
- Has the dog sitter completed any training?
- Will he or she provide live-in services or make visits at specific times?
- Does the dog sitter provide any additional services such as grooming, training or playtime?
- Does he or she carry liability insurance?
It is also a good idea to ask for references of past clients, even if you are pleased with the answers to the interview questions. Ultimately, you should trust your instincts when deciding who to hire.
Give Detailed Instructions. Once you have decided on a dog sitter, be sure to give detailed instructions. These should include any dietary restrictions, special needs, medications or schedule expectations. The less your dog’s regular routine is disrupted, the more content he will be. Post the instructions near your pet’s food and supplies. Don’t forget to include emergency contact information as well.
It is never easy to leave your dog when traveling for extended periods of time. The separation will be a little less traumatic for both of you, however, when you hire a trusted professional to care for your furry family member. Take the time to select the best dog sitter for your needs so that you come home to a content, well-behaved dog.
Do you have a dog sitter you love? Leave a comment and let us know how you found this person.