After a move, there is a long list of new service providers to track down. A babysitter, house cleaner, vet…the list goes on and on. Make sure you don’t forget about the needs of your four-legged friends. Have you found a new pet sitter or dog walker in your area? This to-do can often be forgotten and placed at the bottom of the list until the moment you actually need one. However, it will make your life and Fido’s life much easier to have a qualified pet sitter lined up right after a move.
Think about your sweet housemate and how the move may have affected them. They may be feeling unsettled and even deserted if you leave them alone in the new unfamiliar surroundings, not to mention what they might do to your new home while you are away! Now is the time to hire a pet sitter for your four-legged family member. But, before you just Google “pet sitter”, it’s important to understand the difference between a professional pet sitter and dog walker and a “hobby” pet sitter and dog walker. After all, you don’t want to bark up the wrong tree. You want your pet to be in the best of care while you are away.
So, how do you know whom to trust with your wagging or purring loved one? I called upon the experts in qualifying professional pet sitters, Pet Sitters International. They recommend that pet owners schedule an initial consultation with a potential pet sitter prior to booking services. This allows the pet sitter to meet with you in your home, interact with your pets and discuss services and business policies. Here are seven questions to ensure the individual is a professional pet sitter:
- Does he/she have the proper business license for your city or state?
- Is he/she insured and bonded?
- Can he/she provide proof that they don’t have a criminal history?
- Does he/she provide client references?
- Will he/she use a pet sitting services agreement or contract?
- Has he/she completed pet-care training, such as pet first aid?
- Is he/she a member of a professional and educational association?
Closely observe the pet sitter during the in-home interview. Does the pet sitter exhibit a positive attitude and seem comfortable and competent in caring for your four-legged family member? A positive attitude goes hand in hand with experience when it comes to in-home pet care. Other considerations to keep in mind during the conversation are:
- Is he/she asking how to prepare the food?
- Is he/she asking about the regular routine?
- Is he/she taking notes?
- Does Is he/she ask if your pet has any allergies?
- Is he/she ask for your contact emergency numbers?
- Does he/she seem to genuinely love animals?
- Would you trust your kids with him/her? Your house keys?
- Is he/she reminding you to make sure your pet is microchipped and that the phone number associated with the chip moved with you?
Lastly, watch your pet. Are they warming up to the candidate? If all tails are wagging and all questions are answered to your satisfaction, you can feel confident that you found a trustworthy professional pet sitter. This will give you peace of mind knowing that your pet(s) will be well cared for in your new home!
Author Bio: Laura McHolm is an organizational, moving & storage expert and co-founder of NorthStar Moving Company. NorthStar Moving Company is an award winning, “A+” rated company, which specializes in providing eco-luxury moving and storage services.