If you’re like me, my pets are my children. They are very precious to me and I wouldn’t leave them with just anyone when I have to go away. In fact, I would rather for go my plans, and stay home if I couldn’t find someone I absolutely connected with and trusted.
So what do I look for in a pet sitter? I look for a quality human being who absolutely adores and has a passion for animals in general - not just someone who wants to find a couch to surf on for a few days until they can find their next free ride! Believe me, I have experienced this! It’s pretty scary!
Look for signs of a person who is genuinely interested in taking it on as a “professional” job, someone who demonstrates maturity, an ability to be responsible, and an authentic enthusiasm and passion for animals. Specifically, it’s a very good sign if someone asks a lot of questions and shows unique interests in your particular pets’ personalities, conditions, behaviors and habits.
Additionally, if the person you are considering is scattered and unorganized, but happens to still love animals and show a genuine interest in yours, I would still think twice about hiring them. Animal caregivers have to be grounded and calm with a good common sense about them. If they have an emergency with your pets or even with your home in your absence and they are by nature scattered and ungrounded, think about it, how well will they be equipped to handle that emergency? How good will they be at preventing emergencies from happening in the first place?
Request to have a few “get to know you visits” with them. If they are genuinely interested in the position, they will want to get to know you and your pets better. If they simply don’t have the time, well, that’s a sure tail sign that they are either too busy to give your animals the care, love and attention they need, or they don’t put your animals first while they are on the job. Someone who has too many responsibilities at home, or in their own life, certainly can’t have the time to do a proper job at taking care of your animals!
Many people make the mistake of hiring someone on their so-called “credentials” alone. They look great on paper. They are part of a Professional Pet Sitters Association, they have their Pet First Aid certification, they are bonded and insured, etc. While all of these traits are great qualifications to look for, it is never wise to base your decision on this alone. You will not only want to check out experience and references, but more importantly you will want to feel that bond, that emotional connection of trust and faith in them.
Our animal companions are our precious family members. As caregivers to them, whether it’s us or the people we hire to look after them temporarily, we as humans, are their emotional leaders. If you can’t find someone who you feel can provide that leadership, then keep digging just a little deeper until you can.
Your pet family members are your treasured loved ones. They deserve the very best in care while you are away. And you deserve the peace of mind to know that you found someone to fulfill that purpose. Don’t settle for just anyone. There are plenty of people out there who will love your animals and do their very best for them in your absence. You owe it to them and yourself to find just that person!
Best of luck in your search for an authentic and passionate person who will give the very best in care and a whole lot of love to your furry family members in your absence!