How to Hire a Pet Sitter in 5 Easy Steps
I’m so excited to introduce you to Ashley Jacobs, the founder and CEO of Sitting for a Cause, who has written today’s amazing guest post. With our mobile lifestyles and the growth of the sharing economy, it’s exciting to see the pet care space being innovated upon by companies that allow for quick and easy pet sitting services. Read on to find out how to pick a safe, effective, and affordable pet sitter for your kitty!
Your flights are booked, hotel reservation is confirmed, and you are excited about your upcoming trip! The only problem: you’ve got a furry family member who won’t be coming with you and you have yet to find a pet sitter!
Hiring a pet sitter to care for your four legged loved one is one of the most important (and sometimes stressful) arrangements a pet parent can make when preparing for a vacation. So how can you go about hiring a pet sitter without breaking a sweat?
Here is your easy, 5 step guide to hiring the perfect pet sitter!
1. Determine Your Needs
Start by evaluating exactly what you need.
Do you have a cat who needs a couple drop-in visits per day? Or does your kitty require 24/7 care? What about transportation to the vet? Do you need a sitter who can administer medication? What dates will you need a sitter and what is your budget?
By answering these questions before you start searching for a sitter, you’ll be able to narrow down potential candidates quickly because you’ll be able to search for sitters who offer the exact services you need in the price range you can afford.
2. Search for a Sitter
As soon as you determine your needs, start your search for a sitter ASAP.
Starting your search immediately will help you have enough time to find the sitter who best fits your cat’s needs instead of settling for someone last minute who happens to have availability in their schedule.
During your search, make sure you ask potential sitters if they have worked with pets similar to yours by sharing a bit of information about your pet. You want someone who not just has experience with cats in general but also someone who has worked with kitties with similar temperaments and needs as yours.
If you are unsure of where to being your search, start by asking your friends and family for recommendations or use a site like Sitting for a Cause to find the perfect sitter!
3. Schedule a Meet and Greet
When you find a sitter who offers the services you are looking for and is available on the dates you need, schedule a meet and greet! Meet and greets give you a chance to meet your sitter and see whether or not they get along with your cat.
Take note of if the sitter asks questions to get to know your cat beyond just the basics of feeding requirements and watch to see if the sitter writes down the information you give them as these can be indications they take your pet’s care seriously.
Also, make sure your sitter arrives on time for your scheduled meet and greet to verify that they can be both dependable and punctual. If the sitter seems to get along with your at, your cat likes the sitter (or tolerates them if your kitty isn’t particularly social), and the sitter is prompt, dependable, and demonstrates an interest in truly getting to know your cat, they may be just the person you’ve been looking for!
4. Go Over (and Write Down) Instructions
After you’ve done a meet and greet (or two) and found the sitter you think would be best, let them know you’d like to hire them and invite them back to your home a few days before your trip to give them the key and go over all the instructions again.
Make sure to walk them through everything, from feeding schedules to playtime regimes to house rules, behavioral quirks, hiding spots, and even where the sitter can find extra food, treats, and toys.
Also, provide a written document of everything you want your sitter to know while you are gone. This should include everything you show them when you give them the key as well as contact information for yourself, your vet, any service providers who may be at your house while you are away, and of course emergency contact information.
You should also fill out an emergency veterinary release your sitter can use in the event there is an emergency with your cat and they are unable to get ahold of you.
5. Travel Stress Free
Pack your bags and enjoy your trip!
You’ve selected the perfect sitter for your cat and they have everything they need to ensure your furry loved one is well cared for in your absence.
If it helps alleviate your separation anxiety, don’t hesitate to call or text your sitter and ask for an update or photos. Most sitters are happy to send pictures or videos to help you have peace of mind while you are away!
Ashley Jacobs is the founder and CEO of Sitting for a Cause, a pet sitting website that donates 50% of their profits to animal-related causes. She is passionate about helping animals in need and resides in Newport Beach with her 8-year-old golden retriever, Diamond.