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It is always nearly impossible to bring your non-family members when you need to travel for work or going for a vacation. Fnding a responsible, professional individual to take care of your pet may be a more preferable option than leaving them housed in a boarding facility. Here are ten tips on finding a qualified and professional pet sitter to care for your pet.
Any pet sitter worth their salt will have a support network. What better place to get a recommendation than your veterinarian? Especially for older and special needs pets, a pet sitter who has an established professional relationship with your pet’s doctor will provide you with peace of mind should there be a medical emergency. However, keep in mind that there are time when the veterinarian would want to have a commission of introduction or will suggest you to let your pet stay in his or her facility
#10 Word of Mouth
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Let’s face it, anyone can look good on paper and even display impressive credentials selling their expertise at pet sitting. However a qualified pet sitter will come recommended by either a fellow pet parent or a trusted pet trainer who has experience leaving their non-human loved ones in said care.
#9 Compile a Questionnaire
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The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has a comprehensive list of qualifications you can use to screen potential pet sitters. Among the pertinent questions to include is: Can they provide written proof of commercial liability insurance coverage to cover accidents and negligence? Are they bonded to protect against theft by a pet sitter or employees?
#8 Ask for References
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A qualified and responsible pet sitter will have a list of both regular clients and pet care services that would be willing to vouch for their professionalism. When provided with references to speak with, be sure to ask questions that cater specifically to your expectations and your pet’s needs.
#7 Select a Certified Pet Sitter
As an alternative to personal recommendations and if you are in United State, you can contact two national agencies which are dedicated to training and certifying pet sitters: The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS), or Pet Sitters International (PSI).
#6 Find a Pet Sitter Affiliated with a Reputable Boarding Facility
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Although this list focuses on selecting qualified individuals, an established pet sitter will be able to provide a back up housing plan should they suddenly be rendered unable to care for your pet. A reputable boarding facility will have equally stringent standards for working with qualified pet sitters. After all, their reputation depends on their quality of care.
#5 Double-check the Contract
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The prospective pet sitter will have complete access to your home and personal belongings, as well as being entrusted to care for your pet. Take special care when studying the contract to ensure that all the discussed and agreed-upon services have been included.
#4 Let Your Pet Give Them a Try-out
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Even after you’ve selected a potential pet sitter who has met all of your criteria, there are equally important members of your family who have yet to approve them – your pets! A qualified pet sitter should agree to your request to have them visit your home or greet and met so you can watch them interact with your pet. What better way to feel at ease than knowing your pets approve of your choice!
#3 Ask About Emergency Plans
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Accidents and mishaps happen, and you’ll want to select a person who is experienced and resourceful enough to protect your pet as well as you would. For older and special needs pets, the potential sitter should document medication, feeding, and other health-related cycles. A comprehensive veterinary and/or partner pet sitter network should provide help if needed.
#2 Level of Service
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Pet sitting is as varied as your needs may be. Some services may include grooming along with live-in care, while others may offer play time, outdoor exercise, and training. Some pet sitters may also combine their services with nutritional regimens such as weight loss. Once you and your pet have determined which is the best level of care, a bit of research will have you finding the best fit for your pet care needs in no time!
Tips are not good enough with some questions raised? How do I talk to pet sitter's clients directly? What if the recommendation and review is always from the related parties? How can I ensure the Pet Sitter has a backup plan for me when he/she is not available or during ermegency?
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We would like you to consider using Petbacker.com to find your Pet sitter and Pet walker. PetBacker is a Platform that connect Pet Parents to Pet Sitter. It actually has a prefilled questionaires to qualify Petsitters, with the review and recommendation by pet parents who have used them as well as a verification process called trust points. Petbacker also offer the Pet parent an insurance coverage if they opt to pay through Petbacker.com. Petbacker platform will allow Pet parents or the Pet sitter to requests nearby veterinarian and pet taxi in the event accidents and mishaps happened.
P/S: Pet sitters are a great solution, but Read 7 Signs of a Bad Sitter so you'll know what to look for.
(Original Article from PetMd with portion of article being excerpted and modified)