How and Why to Hire a Pet Sitter

By on May 9, 2015

If you have pets and need someone to watch them while you are away, you need a special person to care for your special friends.

For pet owners, the situation is inevitable. Your family wants to take a vacation. You will be gone for the weekend. An emergency arises and you can’t have your pet by your side. In these cases, you will often need to hire a pet sitter. Maybe your friends aren’t available or trustworthy. Maybe you don’t have family in town. These reasons (and more) may warrant the employment of a pet sitter. We at Pets in Des Moines are here to help you find and hire a pet sitter. We have some tips and advice to offer about pet sitters, but we’ve also relied upon the National Humane Society for help. From us, we’d want you to consider:

  • Hire a competent and experienced sitter
  • Hire someone with the ability to complete all the tasks you do each day for your pet
  • Employ someone who can be trusted with your pet and home

The National Humane Society also has some great advice here. Among other things, the Society lists benefits for you and your pet and answers some pressing questions about pet sitters.

Why hire a pet sitter?

  • Your pet gets to stay in its familiar environment.
  • Your pet gets to stick to its routine, feeding schedule, and more.
  • Your pet gets relief from traveling and staying in a boarding house. Travel can bring out the worst in a pet. Also, some boarding houses can do more harm than good. You don’t want your pet coming home with a sickness or funky smell, do you? If you are to put your pet in a boarding house, make sure to do your research. There are good ones out there…there are also houses that have a bad reputation.
  • Your pet gets the attention it needs while you are away. Leaving your pet alone can have bad implications. Often, cats and dogs get bored, get complacent, or worse. Don’t put your kitty or puppy in a situation that brings out the worst in them.

What do you get from hiring a pet sitter?

  • Peace of mind. While you are away, you will know that your pet is safe and taken care of. Vacation is supposed to be fun and carefree. You don’t want to spend your time worrying about your little friend back home.
  • Someone to collect the mail, paper, and pet waste. Not only will this keep your home tidy, but it may prevent people from becoming aware that you are gone. If papers and mail stack up on your front porch, folks will realize you are gone and that’s not always safe.
  • Someone to care for your pet and give them personal attention. Boarding houses can be good, but sometimes your pet needs that special attention and care that only you or a trusted sitter can provide.
  • Other services like plant watering, house maintenance, and pet grooming are taken care of. Leaving the house and pet alone for a week or two can really do some damage and will require you to play “catch-up” once you return. A pet sitter can keep your home and pet in pristine condition. Work, school, and everyday life will provide you with enough to catch-up on. You shouldn’t have to worry about getting your pet back to normal.

Here are some things to look for in a pet sitter:

  • Experience and training. Someone who knows what he or she is doing is of the utmost importance. Don’t just get the neighbor kid to feed and water the dog each day. You know your little buddy needs an expert.
  • Some sitters require contracts. Make sure you and your sitter are taken care of and you always have a backup/emergency plan in place.

The National Humane Society link above also offers tips on helping your pet and sitter make the experience successful. Check it out and always make sure you have dotted your “I”s and crossed your “T”s before leaving your pet at home.

Pet sitters are important. Do your due diligence and hire a good one if you plan on leaving town without your little friend for any amount of time. Take this advice and do your research. Coming home to a happy cat or dog is always better than coming home to problems. Again- vacation is supposed to be fun. Make sure your pet is equipped with everything it needs to have a good time while you are gone as well. As we grow here at Pets In Des Moines, you’ll find listings of pet sitters and others who provide pet services, so keep an eye on our directory.

Are you a pet sitter? Do you have a good one to recommend? We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or use the Contact form under the Contact Tab on our homepage.

About Eric Forrest

Eric Forrest is a student, teacher, writer and dad. He's had 5 dogs, 4 cats, two ducks and a cottontail rabbit he nursed back to health. When he's not writing about pets, he's writing essays, teaching literature, changing diapers and reading short stories.

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