Why Hire a Professional Pet Sitter?  Why Not Just Hire the Kid Next Door?

Sick Dog

We have heard countless horror stories of pets being left in the care of well-meaning, but inexperienced friends, neighbors and neighborhood kids.  Does your friend know how to look for signs of illness and injury in your pet?  Is your friend trained in pet first aid and CPR?  Does your friend carry insurance in case something happens in your home?  Or in case something happens to your pet?  How do you know they are actually caring for your pet?  Is your pet staying on his schedule?

When you hire Critter Buddies® to care for your furry family members, you can rest assured that all of those questions are answered.  We are professional pet sitters.  We are licensed, bonded and insured and care for pets as a career … not as a hobby.  We are trained to give your pet the best care possible, know how to tell if he needs veterinary attention and can provide immediate first aid.  We not only spend quality time with your pet and give him exercise and love, we keep him SAFE. What’s more, Critter Buddies® professional pet sitters are all trained adults, so you can rest assured that your home and pets are in experienced, responsible hands.  Critter Buddies® also offers additional skilled services, such as administering your pet’s medication and injections.  Your pets will be happy and safe and your home will be well cared for!

Many people believe hiring a professional pet sitter is more expensive than a dog kennel or pet boarding, but that is often not the case at all – especially if you have more than one pet!  Call us today to discuss the costs and benefits of hiring us!

Why Hire a Professional Pet Sitter?
A professional pet sitter offers you AND your pet many benefits.

Your PET gets:

  • Expert care by a trustworthy, dedicated and trained professional.
  • Consistent continuation of your training by an experienced professional.
  • The no-stress environment he knows best.
  • His regular routine.
  • Relief from traveling to and staying in an unfamiliar and scary place with other animals.
  • His regular diet, favorite bed, treats and toys.
  • No exposure to unpredictable dogs, diseases, parasites or illnesses sometimes found in doggy day care and kennels.
  • Quality health care for medical needs. If you have a pet with special medical needs, a Critter Buddies® professional pet sitter can administer medications in the comfort of home.
  • Emergency care.  Critter Buddies® are trained in pet CPR and first aid and will monitor and address any health emergencies that may occur. 
  • One on one time with his pet sitter and love and attention while you’re away.
  • A new friend and long-term relationship with his pet sitter.

YOU get:

  • The peace of mind that comes from knowing that your pet is being cared for by a trained, licensed, bonded and insured adult professional.
  • Happier friends and neighbors who aren’t burdened with caring for your pet.
  • Less stress from no longer imposing on friends and neighbors.
  • No more worrying about whether your pet will be properly cared for and loved while you are away.
  • An adult to monitor and secure your home while you are away, bring in your newspaper and mail and alternate lights and curtains so potential burglars don’t know you’re away.
  • Someone who will come to your home so you don’t have to drive your pet to a boarding kennel.
  • Additional convenient services such as taking your pet to the groomer or vet, running errands or pet bathing.

What Should I Look for When Choosing a Professional Pet Sitter?

It’s important to learn all you can about a prospective pet sitter’s qualifications and services. Before selecting a pet sitter, interview the candidates over the phone or at your home. Find out the following:

  • Can the pet sitter provide written proof that she has commercial liability insurance (to cover accidents and negligence) and is bonded (to protect against theft by a pet sitter or her employees)?
  • Will the pet sitter record notes about your pet—such as his likes, dislikes, fears, habits, medical conditions, medications, and routines?
  • Is the pet sitter associated with a veterinarian who can provide emergency services?
  • Will the pet sitter provide a written service contract spelling out services and fees?
  • Is the pet sitter affiliated with a professional organization such as Professional United Pet Sitters or National Association of Professional Pet sitters?
  • Will the pet sitter provide related services such as administering medication, in-home bathing, grooming, dog walking, dog training and play time?
  • If the pet sitter provides live-in services, what are the specific times she agrees to be with your pet?
  • How does your pet sitter make sure that you have returned home?

Even if you like what you hear from the pet sitter, it’s important to have the prospective pet sitter come to your home to meet your pet before actually hiring her for a pet-sitting job. Watch how she interacts with your pet—does your pet seem comfortable with the person? If this visit goes well, start by hiring the pet sitter to care for your pet during a short trip, such as a weekend excursion. That way, you can work out any problems before leaving your beloved pet in the pet sitter’s care for longer periods.

Helping the Pet Sitter and Your Pet

Of course, even the most trustworthy, experienced pet sitter will have trouble if you haven’t also kept your end of the bargain. Here are your responsibilities:

  • Make reservations with your pet sitter early, especially during holidays.
  • Ensure your pet is well socialized and allows strangers to handle him.
  • Be honest with your pet sitter about your pet’s behavioral issues and needs.
  • Affix current identification tags to your pet’s collar.
  • Maintain current vaccinations for your pet.
  • Leave clear instructions detailing specific pet care responsibilities and emergency contact information, including how to reach you and your veterinarian.
  • Leave pet food and supplies in one place.
  • Buy extra pet supplies and food in case you’re away longer than planned.
  • Show the pet sitter your home’s important safety features such as the circuit breaker and security system.

Finally, have a safe and fun trip. And remember to bring your pet sitter’s contact information in case your plans change—or you just want to find out how your fur-kids are doing.