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When it becomes necessary for a pet owner to leave a pet for whatever reason, vacation or business, it is important to find a caring, reliable pet sitter. The most important quality is to find someone who truly loves their job and loves animals.

Call the prospective pet sitter for an interview. Although pet sitters can tend to be busy, the client should not feel as though the sitter is "squeezing" them in. Once the interview is in progress, observe how the sitter reacts with your pet, and how the pet responds to the sitter. Remember animals have a much keener "instinct" than humans. Some animals are shy around strangers (cats in particular). Observe the sitter's demeanor. The sitter should ask about the pet's health background, eating habits, and individual "quirks". It is important to write this information down.

The client also has some responsibilities to the sitter. All pet food and supplies should be stocked up and ready to go. The sitter should not be responsible for the purchase of these unless it is specifically agreed upon in advance. The client should also have a list of important information such as:

  • Veterinarian's address and phone number (please have your account for the animal in place as the sitter is not responsible for any emergency vet bills).
  • A phone number(s) where client can be reached in an emergency.

Once these bases are covered, the job of pet sitting should go smoothly and without stress on any participant.

Another consideration is try to determine exactly what the quality of time with the pet is going to be. During brief daily stays, or whatever the arrangement is, your pet needs the full undivided attention of the sitter...not just a warm body who brings in the mail, waters the plants, and provides food. The sitter should spend 90% of their time there attending your pet with exercise, play, and any necessary grooming. If the client does not feel that the proper requirements are being met, don't settle. Try again.

Also find out who is actually going to do the sitting. Some sitters have such a large clientele that they "sub-contract" services out with others. In this case, if the sitter's interview was positive, schedule a second interview with the actual individual doing the sitting. The key element of a good pet sitter is LOVE, LOVE, and MORE LOVE. A sitter that totally loves animals will not starve or neglect your pet!

Article by Anna The Pet Nana.

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