You’ve booked your vacation, bought your beach reads, packed your bags, and you’re ready to go. But there’s one major problem: what about your pets? Finding a pet sitter can be a daunting process. We love our animals as members of the family, and finding a person we can entrust with their care is a particular challenge.
And it’s not just when you skip town; there are plenty of other times when a dog owner needs the help of a pet care professional. It may be a job that has you away from home all day, or a new project (or even a baby) that’s got you scrambling to keep up with your pets. But how to find the right one? We’ve created a checklist to help you through this process.
1. Preliminary Search
You can ask pet-owning neighbors for recommendations, and check the bulletin board at the dog park, but tracking down and meeting with a slew of sitters can be really time consuming. Check out Rover.com, where you can punch in your needs and time frame and peruse the profiles of sitters that are available and able to provide the services you’re looking for.
Whether you need someone to drop by a couple times a day for a walk or to check on the cat, or someone to board the dog in their home, or even a pet/house sitter to hold down the fort while you’re away, there’s a Rover pet care professional for you. And Rover has sitters all over the country, from Seattle, to Miami, and in between.
2. Meet and Greet
Before you leave your pet in another’s care you’ll need to have them come meet you and your furry friend in person. Have them over to your home, or meet at a dog park or trail. If they will be boarding your dog and have dogs of their own, it’s often best to meet in a neutral location (so not your house or theirs) with lots of open space so that the dogs can get each other’s scent, but still have lots of space to run and play.
You and the sitter will have plenty to discuss at the meet and greet. In fact, they will probably have a list of questions about your pets and you should have a list of questions for them. What you need to know about the sitter will be very specific to your pet’s needs. At the meet and greet you’ll get a feel for the sitter. Trust your gut! Watch how they interact with your dog or cat, and you should be able to tell pretty quickly whether they are a good fit for your family.
3. Prep for the Stay
Now that you’ve met a few sitters and decided on your favorite one, you can begin your preparations for their stay. Write out your detailed instructions, leaving nothing out. Your sitter will want to know every pertinent detail about your pet; their preferences and needs, medical requirements, commands, anxieties, where they are allowed to go in the house, etc.
If your dog is boarding, pack a bag with all their favorite toys, some food and their dish so they feel at home. You will also want to get insurance for your pet, on the off chance that an injury occurs. Rover.com provides premium insurance for every stay, so if you’ve booked with them you won’t have to worry about that. It’s covered.
Any Type-A person will tell you that the key to a good time is extensive preparation and planning. Having put in the work to find a great sitter will allow you to breathe easy, knowing you’ve ensured that your furry beloved will receive the highest quality loving care in your absence. Regardless of whether you’re going on vacation, working late, or just need a helping hand, having a great sitter is a necessity for any pet owner.
This is a guest post from Chelsea Alvarez, who works with the marketing team over at Rover.com. Chelsea lives in the Pacific Northwest, where the coffee is good and the dogs are plentiful.