Those of us who are lucky enough to have a dog or cat know that they need us to give them what they need to be happy and healthy. We are responsible for things like food, a place to live, and health care.
What if we have to leave Fido or Fluffy behind? Good pet owners think ahead about what they will do when they can't be there to take care of their pets. When they have to stay away for significant periods of time (for work, overnights, or vacations), they know they have multiple options. One of the best things you can do for your dog is hire a pet sitter.
Hiring a pet sitter is better than putting your dog in a kennel or leaving it at a doggy daycare center for the day. Some dogs and cats might not do well if they have to be taken care of somewhere else. In these situations, having a pet sitter come to your house can help you as well as your pets.
Let's take a closer look at the awesome benefits of hiring a pet sitter to take care of your beloved dog while you are away.
What is a pet sitter's role?
A reliable pet sitter is not the same as a dog walker or a friend or neighbor who drops by your home several times a day to provide your pet with fresh water and food while you're away. Sitters have a broader view of what they need to do and are ready for all parts of being in your home and taking care of your pet. They will spend time with your dog or cat, playing with them, cuddling with them, and checking on how they are doing. Even while you're gone, they can do things like bring in the mail, water the plants, and generally make it look like someone is home.
There may be emergencies while you're gone, but the good news is that pet sitters are ready to handle them, whether it's a power outage, a sick animal, or anything else you would handle yourself if you were there. They are also good at talking to you, telling you what's going on and reassuring you that everything is fine. They can even send you photos and videos of your pet cuddling or playing to keep you up to date on how it is doing.
The best reasons to hire a pet sitter, though, are for your pet. Some animals may do fine in kennels or other places where they can stay for a while. But many pets feel most at ease in their own homes, where they are used to the smells and sights. It will be less stressful for them to go potty in their own yard than in an outdoor run full of strange, curious dogs.
A pet sitter can do more than just let your dog or cat stay at home while you're away. Let's take a look at the best ones for your beloved pet.
Maintains your pet's usual routine
Pets thrive when they know what their daily schedule will be and can plan around it. It can be hard for a dog or cat to wait for their food or eat in a place they aren't used to. They feel most at ease when they can go to sleep where they usually do. Because they can smell so well, your scent in the house can even make them feel better when you're not there.
If you tell pet sitters in advance about your dog's habits and schedule, they can help your pets feel safer and more at ease in their normal routine. Some may even be able to keep up with how well your puppy is learning!
It alleviates separation anxiety
Some cats and dogs who don't like being left alone can get separation anxiety. An animal can get frantic from the stress of being alone, and they may take out their fear on things in the house or another animal. When a dog is left in a crate, separation anxiety can make them hurt the crate or themselves as they try to get out.
A pet sitter can ease your pet's stress and worry by always being there and being nice to them, as well as keeping them busy with games, exercise, and cuddles.
Makes your pet healthier
Pet sitters can check on your dog or cat for illness or injury and take them to the vet if they need it. They can also keep your pet from coming into contact with other animals in a kennel or boarding facility, which could spread diseases like kennel cough or parasites like fleas or worms to your pet.
Animals with special medical needs, like breathing problems or recovering from surgery, don't have to keep their owners from going out of town. Hiring a pet sitter makes sure that medication and treatments are given on time. Many pet sitters work with veterinarians and use the knowledge they've gained in their jobs. Also, many people take courses in pet first aid so they know what to do if their pet needs medical help right away.
Help your pet socialize
When dogs and cats meet other people and animals, they become more well-rounded and are less likely to be reactive, too shy, or aggressive. Having a pet sitter in your pet's life can help him or her learn to trust, how to talk to strangers, and how to give and receive love from other people. When a cat or dog is comfortable and safe in their own environment, it is easier for them to get along with a person.
Let your dog come up to the sitter when he or she is ready, and let the sitter spend some time with your dog at least once before you leave. Meet-and-greets are a great way to find out if your dog and the sitter get along.
Offers personal attention
Most pet sitters have their own pets or have had pets in the past. They know how dogs and cats act and what they are saying with their bodies, so they can change how they care for each animal. This kind of focused, one-on-one interaction can put the animal at ease and give it the chance to get your full attention.
At a kennel, your furry friend may feel stressed out by having to compete with other dogs or cats for human attention. This can also limit the amount of time they get to spend with a person, whether it's to play, go potty, or just show affection. We all want our pets to feel safe, and a pet sitter who is there just for them can help them feel more at ease and sure of themselves.
How to choose a pet sitter
Finding the perfect pet sitter for your fur-baby might take some detective work and planning, but the work you put in now will be well worth it if it makes you feel better while you're away. Here are some amazing tips to help you find the perfect match for your dog:
Ask a sitter about their experience with dogs, including if they have worked with a local vet or clinic, have any certifications, or have first aid training.
- Find out if they are covered by insurance and bonded.
- Ask for recommendations or look for good reviews.
- Tell the sitter about your dog's personality, how he acts, what he's been through, and any quirks he has. This will help you find the right sitter for your dog.
If everything goes well and your dog or cat is happy and calm when you get home, be sure to recommend the pet sitter and/or give them good feedback. Most people would be grateful for a small gift from wherever you've been, and a simple tip added to their fee would probably make them smile. Don't forget the power of a simple "Thank you!"