Pet sitters are like baby sitters, who are employed to take care of a pet within the home. Usually, pet owners hire them on a contract basis when they go out on vacations. They can also be employed for a short duration like for an evening.
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How to Choose Pet Sitters
The advantage of hiring a sitter is that the pet is taken care of within its own environment.
The problem faced by segregating the pet out of its environment is that they become stressed out. In case of travelling before reaching the new owner they can also experience travel trauma. Vaccinations are administered to the pet after studying their lifestyle.
Chances are that they can become ill because of exposure to parasites, as that situation wasn’t considered during the time of vaccination.
Interviews with Pet Sitters
It is a very good idea to conduct interviews with pet sitters, before hiring them for the job. The interview can be arranged on the phone or in person. It is better if the interview is done at your home as the ability of the sitter can be tested with the pet.
Sitters should be qualified and must have completed some educational coursework. The coursework should include pet care, nutrition and health along with business and office procedures.
It is a bonus if they have taken care of animals similar to your pet before because not all pet sitters can take care of all types of pets.
Types of Pets
Pet sitters are specialized with certain types of pets. It is very rare that a pet sitter would have knowledge about all kinds of pets. They should have a good amount of experience in the pet care industry.
Insured and Bonded
Pet sitters should also be insured or bonded in case of accidents. The insurance card and coverage should be checked out for this purpose. They can even be asked for references.
The pet owners, whom they have worked with earlier can provide a clear picture. The payment terms should also be discussed beforehand.
Pet sitters should look after the food and water needs of the animal. They maintain the normal routine of the animal. They also give medicines to the pet, if it is on medication.
Some even provide special services such as injecting insulin; administering subcutaneous fluids, and checking blood pressure and glucose levels. In such cases, the knowledge of pet sitters should be assessed with the vet of the pet.
Some also provide pet walking services. This service is used by people who are old or have some kind of disability and are not able to provide an adequate amount of exercise for their pet.
They also drive the pet to the vet, groomer or trainer. Pet sitters also pick up pet supplies such as food and medicine. All these additional services are optional and are not provided by all sitters. They should also play with the pet and maintain the litter box as needed.
Pets such as dogs, cats, snakes, rabbits, ferrets, lizards, guinea pigs, fish, and hamsters cannot have complete strangers look after them either. Some of the more exotic animals are very fussy and shy. They will only accept pet sitters whom they are familiar with.
Familiarity with Pet Sitters
In such cases, pet owners must try to develop a familiarity between the pet and the sitter beforehand, in their presence.
The most common method of bonding with the animal is by bottle feeding them. After the initial bond is formed, the pet can be left alone with the pet sitters.
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