In the age of apps like Rover, Wag, PetFetch, Care.com, and others, it is easier than ever to find someone to care for your furry friends. These sites are chock full of eager helpers looking to care for Fido and Whiskers and make some cash. Unlike other pet sitting companies who scoff at these apps and sites, I fully support these avenues of finding care. I have used Rover in the past (as a pet sitter and as a dog owner) and it was a positive experience.
That said, it is important to be diligent about meeting and interviewing candidates to care for your furries no matter what app or site you found them on, even if they are a referral. A background check does not ensure that your sitter has adequate common sense. It also doesn’t ensure that your sitter is experienced with your particular breed or specific care needs. Don’t fall into the trap of false confidence – nothing beats meeting a sitter in person to allow your personal intuition or “gut” instincts to help you out in the decision process.
Do your homework on your sitter – check and call all of their references yourself don't rely on online reviews. Ask pointed questions. Make sure you have enough time to make an informed decision about who you will choose (and that you aren’t rushing the process two weeks before you go out of town!). Bad sitter decisions are those that are rushed.
The process of finding a good pet sitter should take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Yes, seriously. After all, your home and/or your pets are precious assets that deserve due diligence in this process.
One of the most important things to look for in a sitter is how many years of experience they have not only with pets, but with actual pet sitting.
So why am I harping on all of this?
As you know by now, I have several years of experience under my belt and I truly believe that is what sets my care apart from other sitters (well maybe other personality traits like empathy, too). I published a nonfiction book last year about all of my crazy experiences while pet sitting. This month I decided I’d dive back into those anxiety-inducing chapters of my memoir and explain what each chapter taught me (and thus made me a better pet sitter).
15+ years of experience, and trials and tribulations, can be extremely beneficial as a pet sitter. I can say that now, but I never want to ever re-live these chapters:
Blood, Saliva, Tears, and Terror (Fourth of July)
That is a lot of lessons! What is that old saying? ...Anyone can navigate a boat on calm seas…but the best captains have been through some storms. I’ve learned a ton in my years as a pet sitter. Indeed some were hard lessons but I had to learn them to get where I am today.
PS: Check out the FAQs regarding my book one-year post publish date!