Finding the right pet sitter is serious business. In last week's post, we talked about the guilt and anxiety that come along with not having a professional pet sitting service on your side (not to mention the risk). We understand. We've been there. Our clients have been there. We want to help.
Finding the perfect pet sitter or dog walker seems overwhelming. Especially since you don't look at your pet as a pet. You actually kind of hate the word, "pet" a little, because it doesn't seem to have enough meaning. "Love of my life", "partner in crime", "workout buddy", "therapist", "best bud", and even, "bestie" would be more appropriate.
So, where do you start? You're busy. It's not like you have the time to interview every professional pet sitter in town! That's the whole reason you need a pet sitter in the first place, right?
It goes without saying that the right professional pet sitter will have an amazing connection with you and your furbabies, but that's not all they need to have. We've put together a little list of other important things to consider. This will give you a good place to start.
Your schedule. How busy are you? How often will you need your pet sitter? Will you need them sporadically, or have you daydreamed about clearing out your spare bedroom to move them in? Do you need someone that can be available in short notice? Same day? Getting clear on this is the first step in finding the right professional pet sitter for you.
If you need someone all of the time, and they are only available some of the time, it will never work. You'll find yourself back at square one, scrambling for help, every time you need them. Stress City, no thank you.
Your privacy. This is so important, and I can't tell you how many times we meet prospective clients that haven't considered this. How will your confidential information be handled? How will your sitter maintain their schedule and notes? Do they have a secure system for your information, like your address, alarm code, and dates that you'll be out of town? Or do they carry it around in a notebook? Will your keys be stored in a ziplock baggie somewhere? How will they be tagged or labelled? Will they be left in your sitter's car? Or are there secure policies in place to protect them?
You deserve to know exactly how your information and keys will be treated, as well as the peace of mind in knowing that keeping them safe and secure are a priority.
Their team. Who makes up their team of professional pet sitters? Do they have employees, or independent contractors (ICs)? Yes, there is a BIG difference between employees and independent contractors, that's a topic for a whole separate blog post...stay tuned.
Are they solo-sitters (I just made that a word, it means that they have no team and do it all alone), and if so, how busy are they? How do they ensure availability? Will they be able to accommodate extra time for an emergency if the need arrises? Who will be there when they can't?
Do they have a large team? Will there be a new sitter visiting every day?
Or are they somewhere in between?
How are they trained? Are they background checked? What does their experience look like?
Relationships are important, y'all. Getting to know your professional pet sitters is part of the fun! The size of your professional pet sitting service's team should be intentional, with you and your needs in mind. They should be able to accommodate your schedule and needs (including emergencies and last-minute requests), while still being small enough to foster real, meaningful relationships with you and your furbabies.
We are going to keep this conversation going. In the next few weeks, we'll write about what to expect from your professional pet sitting service, and where to find the right one, because if you do, you'll only have to go through the process once. Doesn't that sound nice? We think so. You deserve that peace of mind, and your bestie will surely thank you for it too.
Wags & Hugs,