I’m a pet sitter.
As a child growing up in West Hollywood, California, in the late sixties, I raised a variety of pets including two dogs and two turtles that we brought with us to this great country from the Mediterranean. At an early age I realized that pets made great friends.
The idea for my “Pet’s Nanny” business came from me always begging to take care of the pets belonging to family members or friends — even if they were not going away!
In 1995, I thought why not create a business from my inherent love for all animals. I put a plan together and executed my vision to include reliable and friendly visits to animal lovers homes. With my many years of experience, I know that pet owners have a real need to count on a loving professional to provide the best care for their pets in their home, one they can trust, charging a fair price.
Now that I’ve brought my love for animals online with this website and blog, people from all over the world visit here. So I thought it would be helpful to write a post on choosing a pet sitter for your pet for those of you who are outside my service area.
Many pet owners find that their animals are less stressed when a sitter takes care of them rather than leaving them in a boarding kennel while they’re away. But how do you find a good pet sitter? What should you look for? Here are some tips for finding a reliable and loving pet sitter.
Check with your pet-owning friends and find out if they can recommend someone. If you don’t know anyone personally, check with your local veterinarian first, or look for services online that offer ratings and testimonials. (Of course, you’ll still want to check references!)
When you have some names and numbers, contact the potential pet sitter and talk with him or her. After all, just because a person is recommended does not mean he or she is necessarily the right person for you.
Some questions to ask are:
- What kind of experience do you have?
- Do you have any references? (References are important, especially if this sitter is not someone you are familiar with)
- What kind of animals have you cared for?
- What got you started in the pet sitting business?
- What do you charge?
3. Red flags
Two things to watch out for in particular with your potential pet sitter might be:
- No references – A pet sitter should have at least two references, even if they are simply attestations to his or her character and integrity. Even a very young person starting out should have an adult or two who can vouch for his or her abilities and character.
- No pets of their own – If someone claims to be a pet sitter but has never owned a pet, they may not be a very effective pet sitter. That’s not to say they must own pets right now; but there should be some history of working with animals, even if it was with someone else’s pets. Maybe they used to walk their neighbor’s dog or had a special relationship with their friend’s cat. There needs to be some kind of background of love for animals in a good pet sitter.
Well, I hope that helps you find a great pet sitter in your area. Of course, if you’re in the San Fernando Valley or surrounding areas, I hope you’ll give me a call (and yes, I have LOTS of qualified references)!