Your pets deserve the very best care and that’s just what you give them. And, when you’re considering professional pet sitting services, you expect the professional pet sitter to provide your pets with the same high quality care to which your pets are accustomed.
When you consider prospective pet sitters, create a list of questions prior to the initial interview or meet and greet that is generally required with many pet sitting services. Make sure you ask as many questions as necessary to allow you to make an informed decision as to whether or not to hire a particular pet sitter.
How long have you been a professional pet sitter?
Get as much information about the individual’s experience as a pet sitter and with pets in general.
Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
If the answer is yes, keep asking questions. If the answer is no, your best bet is to find a pet sitter who is licensed, bonded, and insured.
Can you provide references?
Ask for a list of references from previous or current pet sitting clients, including an email address or a phone number so you can contact each. When you contact references, ask them about their experience:
- Where you happy with the pet sitter? Why or why not?
- What did you and didn’t you like?
- Would you hire the pet sitter again? Why or why not?
- Are you still a client? If not, why?
Do you have a backup pet sitter?
The unexpected – illness, injury, death in the family, broken down vehicle – happens, even with professionals. The difference between a professional and an amateur, however, is the professional has a backup plan. Does the pet sitter have a backup pet sitter, also a professional, who will make the scheduled visits to care for your pets when your regular pet sitter cannot? Find out exactly what happens when your pet sitter can’t make a scheduled visit.
Where does the pet sitter keep your key?
Find out where the professional pet sitter keeps your key. Is it in a secure location to which no one else has access? How is your key identified? Is it color coded? (Make sure the pet sitter does not write your address on the key. That is a recipe for disaster if the key is lost or stolen.)
What type of visits do you offer?
How long is each visit? Do you offer overnight visits? How much does each visit cost?
Can you book last minute appointments?
How far ahead of time should you book pet sitting appointments? How far in advance do you have to book for holidays? Is there an extra fee for booking at the last minute?
Does the pet sitter have an emergency procedure if your pet becomes ill or injured?
What happens if your dog becomes ill or injured? Will your professional pet sitter first contact you or will she immediately seek veterinary assistance?
Does the pet sitter provide regular updates?
Will your professional pet sitter send a text or an email after each visit or once each day to let you know how your pets are doing?
How will you contact the pet sitter?
How will you contact the pet sitter – by phone, text, or email – if you need to extend the scheduled visits, if you’re stranded in an airport and won’t be home until late, or if you just want to check on your pets?
What is the most important question you can ask a professional pet sitter?