I remember when friends of my family would ask me to stop by and ‘check on their dog’ while they were on vacation. “Just make sure they have food and water, and take them out to go to the bathroom a couple times a day,” they would say. And they would rest easy while they took their vacation, feeling as though they had hired a decent ‘pet sitter’ to do the job. Well, lucky for their pets, I never followed those instructions, and used to stay with the dog for hours, playing and giving them all the attention they deserved.
Expectations for pet sitters have come a long way since then. As pet owners realize how important their family pet is to them, and realize how sad the pet feels when the owners are away, they are expecting a lot more out of their pet sitters, and many are willing to step up. Take Verado Home and Pet Sitting in Mesa, AZ. Debra Jensen is a dedicated pet sitter who does not hire out her pet sitting jobs to other employees – when you hire her, you get her (and her 4 years of solid experience). She is insured and bonded, and spends quality time with your pets in the comfort of their own home while families are away. She offers daily packages, which include walks, attention, and food and water; but she also offers overnight stays, where she spends the night with your pet to keep them as comfortable as possible.
For Paws Pet Sitting in New Haven, Connecticut, offers the same type of service, using the catchphrase “…because there is no place like home!” Carin Shillieto cares for dogs, cats, and other small pets in the comfort of their own home. She also offers a daily walk schedule, but distinguishes herself with overnight services.
Willa Reynolds of Road Runner Pet Nanny solely offers live-in services that can last from a week to several months. She lives with the pet while the families are away, keeping to the pet’s regular schedule, so as little as possible changes. “Pets are always going to miss their families,” she says, “but I find they are most comfortable and least stressed when they are able to stay in the comfort of their own home when the family is away.”
Websites have even been developed that aggregate all pet care options within a family’s community. Sites like www.care.com, www.petsit.com, and www.petsitters.org to name a few have made it even easier to find quality care for your beloved companion. And more often than not, when you hire a pet sitter, you are also hiring a house sitter, as many professional pet sitters will water house plants, take in mail, and put out the trash at no additional cost.
What experiences have you had when hiring a pet sitter?
Heather Kalinowski lives in the Seattle area with her husband, newborn son, and two rescued pups – an Italian Greyhound named Ava and a Spaniel mix named Jackson. She enjoys reading, writing, spending time with her family, and volunteering with Italian Greyhound Rescue.