If you are like most pet owners you’ve probably been using a friend, neighbor or family member for your pet’s care while you’re away. Of course this is the go-to option, the easy quick fix and low cost solution. It has probably been working for you for years. If you are lucky this could work for you for many more years too, but there will come a day that your go-to might move out of state. They might suddenly get pets of their own. Perhaps they’ll have a baby or be away traveling the same time as you. My point is, sometime in the future you’ll be forced to explore other options.
By other options, I mean you need a plan A, B, and C when it comes to pet care. Having back-up options is a great way to ensure you’ll never be scrambling for a pet sitter at the last minute which can be one of the most stressful things pet owners have to deal with. Travel planning is intensive enough without having to scramble to find a competent, trustworthy and reliable pet sitter in the weeks, or heaven forbid, mere days leading up to your vacation.
Like choosing a babysitter for your toddlers, the task of finding good pet sitters is also important. There is nothing worse than being thousands of miles from home trying to enjoy your vacation all while fretting about the “responsible” neighborhood kid caring for Fido and Whiskers. Choose your pet’s caregiver carefully!
In this list you’ll discover eight ways to find great pet care for your pet while you are away. Many of these options I have personally used myself or know about from other sitters or clients.
I’m always amazed by how many people wait until the last week or two to book a pet sitter. Last December alone I had to turn down over 15 requests from potential clients because I was already booked up, and had been for weeks. A good rule of thumb is to book a sitter for your pets at least 6-12 weeks out. When you purchase your plane tickets, immediately book your pet sitter. Sometimes last minute requests can work out but most likely they don’t, especially during major holidays.
Also, always trust your gut instincts. It doesn’t matter if a sitter is bonded or insured, all the money in the world will not un-burn your house from the ground or bring your pets back to life if something awful happens while you are away. Anyone can look good on paper, have references and tons of insurance but if you meet them and something feels off, it probably is. Always do a casual meet and greet with a sitter first, ask questions, and observe how your pets interact with them. You may even use the new sitter for a weekend stay prior to a longer trip. That way you both can get an idea of how things will go before you are away on that longer trip later on.
If you take a couple of hours to explore the options in this list, I have no doubt you’ll eventually find that perfect solution for you and your pets.
Now go and enjoy your travels worry-free, while your pets also enjoy your time away! You both deserve it!