Deb Tebbs Group

Cascade Sotheby's International Realty

Tips for Hiring a Pet Sitter

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It’s almost summer vacation season and that means finding someone to care for your cat or dog while you’re away from home. Although some pets enjoy a boarding situation, many pets, especially cats, are happier when they can stay at home where they’re comfortable. That’s where a pet sitter can help.

Here are a few helpful tips for finding the right pet sitter for your household.

1. Finding a Good, Reliable Pet Sitter

A good pet sitter stays in your home while you’re away and feeds, walks, and otherwise takes care of your pet. Finding a good, reliable sitter used to be a matter of asking at your veterinarian, talking to other pet owners, and maybe even putting up a sign in the local library. While those methods can still work, there are a myriad of new resources made available by searching online. Pet care resources like the National Association of Pet Sitters and Care.com provide ways to help match up prospective pet sitters with pet parents in search of good care.

2. What to Pay and How to Pay the Sitter

How and when to pay your pet sitter can also be confusing. Pet sitters listed on Care.com generally charge between $50 and $75 per day, and often require the ability to stay overnight at your home to minimize travel time. You may want to give the sitter some of the money upfront, leaving the balance payable when you return. Some pet parents also leave funds for a pet health emergency or other unforeseen event. You can also consider making arrangements with your vet so that they keep your credit card on file and can charge it in case of an emergency health issue while you’re gone.

3. Avoiding Security Issues with Your Pet Sitter

No matter how well the pet sitter’s references check out, it’s important to remember that you are still giving a person who you don’t know access to your home. Since that carries a degree of risk, it’s wise to take steps to protect your personal information. Keeping your valuables and electronics locked away out of sight is important, but don’t forget the little things. Ensure you haven’t left bank records or receipts in the trash, or left personal documents in unlocked desk drawers. Give yourself added peace of mind by monitoring your credit for any unexpected fluctuations. That way, in the event of a problem, you’ll be alerted right away, and will be able to minimize any potential damage.

4. What to Expect of Your Pet Sitter

The range of services and expectations of a pet sitter varies from person to person. The U.S. Humane Society offers a list of suggestions on how to set up your pet sitting arrangement for success before you leave town. They recommend that you have your pet meet the sitter before they come to stay for a period of days. They also advise making sure that your pet’s vaccinations are up to date. Buy extra pet food and supplies just in case you are delayed getting home, and make a point to leave a spare key with a neighbor or trusted friend to use in case of an emergency.

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