|Amy, our trusted pet-loving neighbor
In my family, when any sort of vacation or trip is discussed amongst ourselves, the excitement of getting away is always quashed by the anxiety of who is going to care for our pets. Yes, we spoil them and perhaps we are overly concerned about their well-being when we are absent. It’s partially that we know they will experience separation anxiety and partially because you can never fully trust someone else with your baby. As their parents, we know what they like to eat, where they like to sleep, what their favorite toys are, where their favorite place to walk is, and anything else imaginable that overprotective parents like us would only understand.
BUT, we need to be “normal” people and have our own, human time as well. In this blog post, we will give you advice on choosing a pet sitter that will put your mind at ease and allow you to take a well-deserved vacation. You can even begin to think of it as your pet getting a vacation from you too, because after all, I’m sure you can become annoying too (just kidding).
DITCH THE KENNEL, FORGET ABOUT BOARDING
Pets are always happier when they are home. Based on common sense, we can agree that it will reduce any amount of stress of not having you around as usual. I remember as a child, when my parents went out of town, my anxiety level was much lower if I was left at home with my grandparents staying over to supervise (cough..discipline) my sister and I. Back to our pets, let’s face it: not everyone has their grandparents or friends available with the time and/or ability to take proper care of our pets. That is why hiring a pet sitter offers the best of both worlds for pets and their owners alike.
The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS)
takes hiring a pet sitter very seriously. They not only offers tons of resources and tips for pet parents in terms of hiring a pet sitter, but they also offer a directory of professional, certified pet sitters that will leave you feeling the confidence to book the next ticket out of town! Their main tips
for hiring a pet sitter are as follows:
- Develop a set of questions and conduct a thorough interview
- Ask for references
- Request proof of bonding and liability insurance coverage
- Make sure he/she interacts well with your pet
- Clarify your/your pet’s specific needs
- Your budget and exactly how much services will cost
NAPPS’s website even throws out tips of household tasks to take care of before you go :
- Clean out your fridge to prevent food spoilage
- Wash any dirty dishes to avoid attracting pets and make the sink free for the sitter
- Relocate valuables (away from windows especially)
- Mow your grass or have someone shovel snow
- Secure outside gates (to the swimming pool especially)
- Make sure all doors and windows are locked
- Do not hide keys for the sitter or others who might be entering your home while you’re away
On a separate note, services similar to couchsurfing.org are coming out for pets. “Couch-surfing” is a modern day way to stay as a house guest in any city in the world by finding different hosts through their website who have you for free. I am personally a part of that community and there are very trusted members on there who have been reviewed and are legitimate, nice folks. There is a database that I tracked down where you can sign up via petstouch.com
for a “pet sitting exchange program”. For people who are on a tight budget and are trusting toward other pet parents and lovers, this could be an interesting concept to explore as pet sitting would be free of charge.
All in all, when it comes to finding a pet sitter, make sure that they are either certified and experienced professionals, or that they are really good folks with pets of their own who will have the time and ability to look after yours while you are away. At the end of the day, it is all about peace of mind for you and about what you can afford. Don’t forget to always interview someone first and ask all of those important questions above. Every pet and parent has their own level of needs, after all. We plan to build quite a network through our Community pages on dealwagger.com
in hopes that you will be able to find good neighbors and local professionals to take care of you and your pet’s needs.
The Dealwagger Pack is going to be attending the Global Pet Expo
in Orlando, FL, this week. We hope to cross paths so we can meet you! We are on a mission to carry the best quality food and treats possible at the best price.
We appreciate your readership and interest in improving the quality of life of you and your pet’s, which is exactly our mission at dealwagger.com. “Like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dealwagger to follow our posts, and sign-up for our newsletter where we share worthwhile resources and contest freebies. Receive daily deal discounts in your E-mail inbox on quality pet products shipped to your door and on goods/services locally. Our launch date to be announced shortly.
About the author: Kevin Opos is the Director Marketing of dealwagger.com, having graduated with a B.A. in Communication from UC Santa Barbara with an emphasis in Media Marketing. Residing in Los Angeles, CA, he has shared-custody of 2 dogs and is dedicated to supporting animal rescue organizations & the prevention of animal abuse by giving those who cannot speak a voice.