Pets offer companionship and fun, so it’s no wonder that among U.S. households, 70% report owning a pet in recent surveys. However, it’s not always possible to take them on trips, meaning owners must arrange pet care. While you have the option to board them, the crowded, loud conditions don’t suit every pet. Fortunately, you have an alternative: a pet sitter.
Of course, hiring a pet sitter in and of itself doesn’t guarantee a great experience. To get top-notch care, you must vet your sitter carefully and take steps to make things as easy as possible. Today, Catastic shares some tips to help you find and prepare your home for the perfect pet sitter.
Think About Your Pet’s Comfort
Being left alone can be difficult for pets, even if it’s just for a few days. In fact, many dogs and cats experience separation anxiety, putting them in a constant state of distress while you’re away. An anxious animal is a lot for even experienced pet sitters to deal with, but you can alleviate some of your furry companion’s stress with the following tips:
- Keep your goodbyes calm and reassuring.
- Try to manage your own anxiety to avoid influencing your pet.
- Watch out for signs of stress, like sudden behavioral changes and increased scratching.
- Place items that smell like you in your pet’s crate or bed.
Vet Your Sitter
Finding a pet sitter can be a long process, so PetFinder recommends starting your search a month in advance. There are plenty of websites that connect pet owners and sitters; most pre-vet to ensure quality and prominently display customer reviews. You can also ask for recommendations from your veterinarian or talk to family and friends.
No matter how you initially find your sitter, you should still do your due diligence before hiring them. A quick internet search can help you spot red flags, and if you decide not to use a pet-sitting service, a background check isn’t a bad idea. Once a sitter passes these with flying colors, arrange a meeting. Sitters should meet you and your pets to determine if they’re a good fit. Meeting sitters beforehand can also help animals with anxiety since they won’t have to stay with “strangers.”
Write Detailed Instructions
You should verbally discuss your pets’ needs with the sitter before the job, but Care.com says that you should also write everything down:
- Pet schedule
- House rules
- Emergency contact information
You should also record any quirks or fears and how to deal with them.
Stock Up on Chow and Supplies
To make things easier for everyone, prepare all of your supplies beforehand:
- Make sure you have enough food and treats for the duration of your trip.
- Place pet supplies in an obvious place.
- Bring out favorite toys, blankets, and beds. If you need to stock up, check out Catastic for the best cat-related supplies available!
- If you’re a dog-owner in search of whole grain food you can trust, check this out.
In addition to making pet supplies accessible, try to remove as many temptations as possible. For example, if your dog chews on shoes, keep your closet door closed or move your footwear out of reach.
Ensure Your Sitter Is Comfortable
Finally, remember that pet sitters have their own needs. The more comfortable sitters are, the more energy they can devote to your pet. To ensure your sitter has a pleasant stay, follow these tips:
- Leave cash for takeout or stock the fridge
- Make the guest bed with fresh sheets
- Create a folder with maps of the local area and information about nearby shops
Provide Care and Alleviate Stress
It’s important not to abandon your travels just because you have a pet at home, but it’s also not fair to your pet if they are left behind without appropriate care. Having a pet sitter care for your furry friends can relieve your and your pets’ anxiety. You know they’ll get personal attention while you’re away, allowing you to enjoy your trip. No matter how you look at it, hiring a pet sitter is a fantastic idea.
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