Pawrenting: Tips on hiring a pet sitter

Woman walking dog. Hiring a pet sitter is more expensive than taking your animal to a boarding facility.

Photo credit: File

What you need to know:

  • Pets are creatures of habit.
  • A pet sitter will keep an eye on the home.
  • Hiring a pet sitter is more expensive than taking your animal to a boarding facility.

When faced with travel, a pet owner will usually call upon a pet boarding facility to take care of their four-legged friends or request a friend to look after the animal.

However, many pet owners may have had an unpleasant experience with a boarding facility. Some pets become uncomfortable around unfamiliar animals or being in a strange environment. However, leaving a pet with a friend can work if they love pets as much as you do.

Getting a pet sitter is one of the options you can consider when you are away. A pet sitter will feed, clean, take your pet for their toilet breaks and change their litter at your home. This means that you will have to be comfortable leaving your house to the sitter.

Creatures of habit

Since pets are creatures of habit, by staying at home, they will follow their normal eating, sleeping and exercise patterns. Such familiarity will largely contribute to you finding a happy and healthy pet when you come back from your trip.

Another advantage of leaving your pet at home is you minimise the exposure of your pet to illness which they can pick from a facility.

Some pets become uncomfortable around unfamiliar animals.

A pet sitter will also keep an eye on the home, can water your houseplants on request, turn the lights on and off and open and close the curtains. These small things give your home a ‘lived-in’ look and go a long way in deterring crime. You can also call them in case you are not sure whether you left the ironing box on.

More expensive 

Hiring a pet sitter is more expensive than taking your animal to a boarding facility or even having a neighbour look after it. The price is higher because your animal gets personalized service and all the attention from the sitter compared to a place with many animals. 

Getting a sitter who you trust and who can get along with your pet can be a challenge but recommendations from other pet owners or reading reviews online before hiring a sitter can help you. After getting recommendations, remember to bring the sitter to your house to see how they relate with your pet as well see their animal handling skills.

Another tip is to have the sitter come before you leave for your trip, this will ensure you handover the pet to the sitter and give all the instructions you need to give.

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Maryanne is a pet owner. Maryanne.gicobi@gmail.com

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