Picking a Family Pet-Loving Care Sitter

Pet carers are like babysitters, engaged to take care of a family pet in the home. Typically, family pet owners employ pet carers on a contract basis when heading out on holiday trips. Pet carers can likewise be used for a brief period like an evening. The benefit of working with a professional family pet carer is that your pets are lovingly cared for within their own familiar surroundings.

The primary issue arising when removing animals – particularly dogs or cats –  from their home environment is their being traumatised by the double whammy of pining for you, their owner or “parent” or “pack leader”, plus being placed in other strange surroundings, such as a kennel or someone else’s home. Far less stressful for the pet carer to come to them than the other way round.

It is preferable for a pre-pet sit interview with the sitter before the actual assignment commencement to place your, the owner’s mind at ease regarding the abilities of the pet carer and his or her experience with and affinity for pets. And to meet your pet(s) at the earliest stage possible – after all, animals can be picky too when it comes to choosing their human companions. Ideally you want an experienced pet carer with confidence about caring for your pet during your absence, so you can fully relax while away from your home, in the comfortable knowledge your pet(s) is/are in excellent hands. It is a bonus if you can find an animal sitter who has specialised in particular types of pets such as your own. When interviewing your prospective pet sitter it’s helpful to see if the sitter has a variety of concerns too. The sitter should be interested in any medical conditions your family pet may have, likes, dislikes allergic reactions and so forth. If your pet is old, it is also good to consider any worst case scenarios which might arise while you’re gone.

The pet carer ought to be insured in case of mishaps. The insurance certificate of coverage should ideally be available to you. Referrals and reviews also play a role when choosing a reliable, friendly and loving carer for your beloved pet(s). Former family pet clients, with whom they have worked with previously might have photos, and will preferably be contactable for reference purposes.

Payment terms for the pet caring service provided should be laid down, transparent and agreed in advance. If caring for your dog, will it need walking? If so, how often, and how much will this service cost? A good pet carer will also ensure doggy bags are used when walking your dog(s), and pick up doggy-doos in your garden. You can make things a bit easier for your family pet carer too. Purchase additional pet food and treats, leave clear instructions and take your animal(s) for routine veterinary check ups before your departure date. If your pet is quirky or fussy or has a medical condition ensure you leave clear directions for the sitter on how to manage the scenario.

The family pet carer attends to the food, water and medication requirements of the animal. The carer preserves the regular daily regimen of your pet. When it comes to medication, some sitters even offer unique services such as injecting insulin, administering subcutaneous fluids, or checking blood pressure and glucose levels. In such cases, the knowledge and experience of the animal carer should be checked and assessed with the animal’s veterinarian. A dedicated carer will also collect fresh food and medical supplies, or take your pet to your designated vet as necessary. These are all aspects to be disclosed and discussed beforehand. Most importantly though, you want a pet carer who will spend as much time as possible, willingly playing with your pet(s) while providing love and attentiveness.

Quick Tip – when administering a tablet (or capsule) to a dog or cat, apply a small dab of Marmite, then give it to them as a treat; far simpler all round than forcing their jaws open, putting the tablet down their throat, then holding their mouth closed till they swallow.

Pets such as independent cats, snakes, rabbits, ferrets, lizards, hamsters, guinea pigs, fish, and insects like the mantis, will be fine with anyone as their sitter. Some more unique animals, however, are shy and fussy. In such cases, pet owners must attempt to establish familiarity between the family pet and the animal sitter at the commencement of the assignment when “handing over” to the sitter, if this is not possible at an even earlier stage. Once the initial bond is formed, the family pet can be left with the pet sitter.

Family pet sitters may be compared to child carers, and you need to be fully confident about entrusting the care of your furry babies and any other pets to them. That’s where so many homeowner clients of House and Home Sitters have found comfort when going away, knowing their pet(s) are in safe professional, caring hands. Armed with the free Checklist provided, House and Home Sitters make it easy for you to choose the right pet carer – for you, and for your pet(s)!

And the right family pet sitter will enable the most positive experience your pet(s) can have while you are away.