Are you a pet owner who needs to be away from home? Arranging competent, caring care for your pets while you’re away from home can feel like an enormous decision to make. The majority of pet owners consider their dog or cat to be a huge part of their family, which means that you not only need to find someone to provide basic fundamentals like water and food, but also to give your pet reassurance, playtime, exercise and companionship while you are not there.
Pet Care Options
You do have several options when it comes to pet care. You could take them to boarding facilities, kennels or cattery, or leave them with a relative or friend. Each option has pros, and of course adverse reasons. You could have a boarding kennels nearby that has fantastic reviews, but would your pet be stressed staying there after being used to home comforts? You must also consider the possibility of your dog or cat contacting germs or a disease when in contact with other animals. The majority of boarding kennels have regulations requiring vaccinations which your pet may not currently have.
If you have a reliable, trustworthy relative who already knows your pet, this may be a good option for you, but many people feel uncomfortable or reluctant to ask a friend or family member for such a huge favour.
Your other option, is to hire a pet sitter who will come to your house daily, or as arranged, to sometimes live in your home while you are absent. This will guarantee continuous care for your animals, while your dog or cat gets to remain in a familiar environment, causing less stress and upheaval.
There are several factors you need to consider when hiring a pet sitter.
Find the right sitter
Take up referrals from family, friends and neighbours, and even your Vet. You can also search online for registered pet sitters.
Qualifications and Training
During your initial meeting with the potential pet sitter, ask if they have had any training; if they are pet owners themselves; ask about previous experience. Remember too, that if your dog or cat has any behaviour issues or special needs, they must feel confident managing them in your absence.
Insurance and organisations
Ask if they have insurance cover (Public Liability) in case of any incidents. Preference should be given to any sitters registered with NARPs UK – National Association of Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers, and of course any with first aid training.
Fees and Services
It’s important to discuss and confirm fees at your meeting, so you know what to expect. How many visits, duration and times? Will they provide walking or grooming services and if necessary, take your pet to the Vets? Are they prepared to water your plants, open and close the curtains and switch on lights in your home? In the event of your delay returning home, can they provide extended coverage for your pet?
One of the most advantageous things about hiring a pet sitter is that once you’ve discovered someone you can trust and have established a working connection with, you know that you can safely leave home without worrying about your beloved pet who will be very comfortable and happy in their new friend’s care.