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5 Things to consider to make your pet sitting experience exceptional

5 Things to consider to make your pet sitting experience exceptional

Most pet care professionals, especially pet sitters, love their jobs. While we all need a break from work now and again there are very few of us who don’t live and breathe animals even in our down time. Personally when I’m not in a clients home working with their pets I’m home taking care of MY pets. I’m never far from a furry or feathered friend it seems. 🙂 

As much as I love animals and love my job there are some things I kind of don’t love about this amazing pet care life and some things that make giving really great service to my clients and their pets difficult or impossible. Some are what I’d consider obvious no-brainers and I can’t believe some clients do them and others are simply things that people may not realize or think of. So let’s get into it. Five things to avoid doing to do to your pet sitter (or your pets) 

1) Make sure to schedule enough visits 

You should stop and consider how many visits you really need. The best way to do this is to let your sitter know your travel plans and let them tell you how many visits you need to book. If you’re leaving at 7pm the night before you dogs WILL need to go potty that evening before bedtime and you need to book a visit for that vs making them wait until the sitter comes the next morning. This isn’t just considerate to the sitter who will have a huge mess to clean up if you don’t, but it’s also healthier for your dog. If you have a puppy you will likely need extra visits or extended visits during the day. Let the pet sitter guide you and help you, we aren’t trying to rip you off I promise! :p 

2) Avoid having a neighbor or friend come to the house to play with or help care for pets. 

Lots of people try to do this. They book the professional pet sitter to come morning and evening and ask a friend to come in the middle of the day to let the pups out, presumably to save money on their pet care service or because their friend was only available for one visit per day. At best this is disrespectful to the sitter and at worst it’s dangerous for your pet and could even pose a safety risk to your sitter. It’s a HUGE liability for the pet sitter and presents care and security risks for your home. It’s easy for a friend to accidentally cause a dog fight, leave a door open or unlocked, or feed the pet something they aren’t supposed to have. You didn’t give your friend or relative all the same instructions that you gave your sitter and they don’t work with animals for a living.

In many cases having a third party come in to care for your pets will void your service agreement with your pet sitter and they will assume no liability if something happens to your pets or your home. Most professionals do not allow job sharing because of the liability. 

3) Make sure to inform your sitter of any changes to your household or pet’s routine. 

This is a BIG one! It’s very common for things to change from one vacation to the next. A pet’s health could change, an owner could find a food they like better, or something in the household could change. Change is not bad. Not telling your pet sitter that things have changed IS though. I recently walked into a house to find tons of pills and supplements next to the dog food but no instructions on what to give to which pet, when to give it, or even how much to give. I had to call the owner and leave a message and send several texts that were not returned until the next day to find out what the deal was. It’s a good thing the dog didn’t need the medication until morning because without instructions I couldn’t safely administer it the night before. Communication is KEY! Wonder Pups makes it VERY easy to manage your care instructions in our app and communicate with our team. Most good pet sitters will reach out to you a day or two before they are scheduled to begin service to confirm dates and double check care instructions as well. 

4) Make sure to tell you Pet Sitter about anyone will have access to your home while you’re away (housekeepers, landscapers, etc).

Lots of people who use a pet sitter also use other professional services around their home such as landscapers and house keepers. When you are away a pet sitter is assuming responsibility for your animals and your household. We need to know who will have access to your home and approximately when. We’ve accidentally annoyed a couple of cleaning ladies coming in to let dogs out midday in the middle of them mopping the floors. We could have planned our schedule differently if we had known they were going to be there. We could also have avoided scaring the bejeebers out of one poor lady who was vacuuming with headphones on and couldn’t hear the sitter calling to her too to let her know she was there. On several occasions our sitters have also been frightened by somebody suddenly walking into a home they were caring for pets in. Let your pet sitter know who will be at your house and on what days, if you can give them a time of day that is helpful too but we understand you aren’t in charge of the house keepers or pest control guy’s schedule. Might not be a bad idea to let the other professionals you’re using know you have a pet sitter visiting too. I’m sure they would appreciate it.

5) Last minute booking. 

This is a big one and probably the biggest challenge of any busy pet care professional. It Kills me to turn down clients because they waited until the last minute to request their service. In many cases because Wonder Pup’s Pet Care has a team of sitters we can work

some last minute services in, but sometimes, we cannot. Obviously we try our very best to make allowances for emergencies such as a death in the family or hospitalization and always take those requests from regular clients but at the last minute we are going on a cruise tomorrow and the sitter we thought we hired canceled on us, from a new client. That is often, unfortunately a No. As we are unable to complete our pre departure consults and behavior evaluations so last minute which presents a safety issue for our staff. A pet that hasn’t met a pet sitter may become stressed or even aggressive. Mistakes and misunderstandings are also more likely to happen when the family and the pet sitter don’t meet and discuss everything in person. 

So there we have 5 things to consider to make your pet sitting experience as pleasant and easy as possible. Remember that the goal is safe and low stress care for your pet and little to no worry for you. We all want the same thing so it’s best to work together. Even the best sitters aren’t magical and can’t make things run smoothly without a little help from you, the pet parent. 😉

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