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Pet Bucket Blog

Out of Options: Finding a Professional Pet Sitter Part 1.

 by zack on 14 Mar 2013 |
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Sometimes keeping a steady job can be difficult. Especially if you have a pet at home who’s attention starved and lonely. Those ten hour shifts won’t work themselves and if you happen to be living the bachelor(ette) lifestyle it can be an easy thing to let your animal companions fall into neglect. Pets feed on human attention at almost the same rate they feed on their kibbles and bits, but you’ve got to work, so what’s to be done?

Well, luckily for you there is a whole section of professionals dedicated to helping your provide your pet with the care that they deserve. Professional pet sitters are common, affordable, and flexible enough to mesh with almost any schedule.  However, seeing as you care so much for your dog or cat that you feel the need to provide for them while you’re away, it’s probably pretty important to you to make sure that you’re hiring someone with credentials, character, and enough experience to get the job done right.

So how do you pick the perfect pet professional? There are a few important steps to take whenever letting anyone have access to your home and beloved dog or cat. First off you need to determine exactly what you’re going to require. Does your pet need more than one daily visit? How long do they need to spend with your pet? Are there other services you’ll require, like getting the mail, watering the plants, etc.? All these factors and more will affect the price of your pet sitter. Just make certain you have track of all the variables involved.

Next you need to go through the screening, interviewing, and hiring processes. Those of you with managerial experience will find this to be a familiar task. First, you need to find a reliable set of sitters from which to peruse. Used to be you’d have to consult your Yellow pages. That’s technically still an option if you’re feeling old school, but with the world wide web network to browse, paper and ink might be more of a time waster than anything else.  Care.com or Craigslist are good places to start. The aforementioned yellow pages do have a website as well. There’s also a couple of national pet sitter hotlines: Pet Sitters International (336-983-9222) or National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (856-439-0324).
You’ll also need to get through an interview process. Don’t just stick with your first inquiry. Build a list of potential pet sitters, and screen them all by phone. They’ll give you a list of references which you should look into individually to confirm that they aren’t just scammers or unqualified. If you’re feeling extra cautious you can pay to have a background check performed as well. Although that’s pushing the line of paranoia, still you can’t be too careful when it comes to home security.

There’s plenty more to cover on such a complex subject , So this post will have to be concluded tomorrow.  Stay tuned for more advice on picking professional pet sitters!


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