When you’ve had weeks to plan for an out-of-town trip or a holiday getaway, you can take the time to make arrangements for quality pet care for while you’re gone. You have plenty of time to make plans and find openings in the schedules of top kennels or pet sitters. But how do you find the right person to feed, exercise and clean up after your pet when you have a last-minute trip pending?
Finding the Perfect Pet Sitter
It’s always tough to leave your beloved pet in someone else’s care, but it can be less stressful if you find someone who is trustworthy and dependable to help with your dog or cat. That can be easier said than done, though, especially if you need to leave on short notice. Here’s where to start:
- Family or friends. These are people you’ve known for a while and can rely on. As a bonus, they may already know your pet.
- Neighbors. It’s most convenient for the people you live near to drop by your house a couple times each day to pet-sit. You may even be able to trade services and provide the same care for their pets when they are away.
- Thumbtack. This online service sets you up with professionals in your area who come with reviews and an established track record. These people bid on your job and you decide on the best fit.
- Rover. Established just for people who need reliable pet sitting services, Rover.com shows you qualified pet care providers near you and puts you in touch to work out arrangements. Insurance is provided through Rover and you take care of all instructions and payments through the site.
- Neighborhoods app. A plethora of local message boards and communication services let neighbors know about issues that impact them, but these apps like Nextdoor or Nearify, services like Craigslist or social media groups on Facebook can give you a place to ask about available pet sitters and get recommendations.
- Premium boarding. Your veterinarian or local kennel can keep your pet safe and near other people and animals during your absence. For some pets, this companionship can be much needed. Pets with special health needs may also be good candidates for boarding. While boarding
If you’re considering a pet sitter who you do not know, make sure to get references and ask about insurance. Professionals will have no problem proving their qualifications. Friendly neighbors or acquaintances will be better known to you, but it doesn’t hurt to have them stop by — if time allows — and go over your requirements.
Tips for the Pet Sitter
Whether you hire a pro with great references or have a neighbor stop by frequently, you’ll want to make sure they have all the information they need to make pet sitting go smoothly.
- Leave emergency numbers. Of course, you’ll leave your contact numbers, but you should also leave a number for a friend or family member in town. It’s also a good idea to leave your vet’s name and number in case of medical emergency.
- Write out feeding instructions. Even if you go over your preferences in person with the pet sitter, it’s helpful to write down your pet’s needs. Note anything you do NOT want your pet to eat, as well, in case a well-intentioned sitter decides to give treats.
- Provide exercise instructions. Some pets don’t need much activity or can get by while you’re away. Others, however, will need extra exercise to get through the time alone. Leave leashes, toys and other equipment in one, convenient location for the sitter.
- Funny behaviors to be aware of. If your pet has any unexpected aggressions around food or play, you must identify those to your sitter. It can also be beneficial to the sitter to explain other issues related to being petted or played with, preferred routines, etc.
- Pet rules. If you don’t let your pets on the furniture, tell your pet sitter so they don’t accidentally permit unwanted behavior. You can also detail any behaviors you are working on, like not jumping up, so your sitter can help enforce your training.
If you come home to a happy, well-fed pet and see that your instructions were followed, you’ll want to tip your pet sitter for the good service. If you weren’t paying, such as if you made an arrangement with a neighbor, say thanks with a small gift card or homemade baked goods.
A planned trip or vacation, for the holidays or any time of year, can cause you extra stress in finding the right pet sitter. That’s amplified if you have to go away on short notice. Make sure to find a trusted person to care for your pet, leave them detailed instructions and information, and thank them well when you return. And if you need the right place to live with your beloved pet, contact us for information on the best contemporary living options in the Denver area.