Be sure your Pet Sitter loves Kitty as much as you do!
We don’t want to break your heart or cause even more strife between the two of you. But let’s face facts here.
There are things you can ask your family for, and some other things best left to professionals.
Pets need care and attention when you’re away, just like when you’re at home.
Pets need food and walking and a little play time or your vacation is just a prison term for them. Recovering from improper vacation sitting can take weeks, even months, so it’s not something we suggest you skimp on.
Pet Sitting Smarts for your Royal Holiday
Royal Holiday travelers share their lives with collies and Himalayans and terriers and short-hairs and probably a lot of animals besides the normal list of cats and dogs.
Our biggest piece of advice, straight up, for everyone who asks is this; if you’re going away for more than 3 or 4 days, then don’t saddle your friends with the trouble of looking after your pets.
A full-time pet sitter is a professional. More likely than not, they’re animal lovers who employ other animal lovers. Pet sitting and home-care has evolved into a full-fledged domestic service. As costs have continued to decline it’s not something that’s cost prohibitive anymore.
There are a number of good online directories of pet sitters that allow you to search by Postal Code for a pet sitter near you. Even if you’re well off the map, they’ll put you in touch with someone who gets paid to do what you and your pet need while you’re gone.
Two of the best online directories are:
Both sites have plenty of advice and professional guidance for finding and contracting a good Pet Sitter. This dead useful list of tips for interviewing and choosing a Pet-Sitter from Pet Sitters International (PDF) is just one good example. Based on that more extensive list here’s a couple of important questions to ask.
- How long will the Pet Sitter spend with your pet each day?
- Will the Pet Sitter confirm that you have, in fact, returned home?
- Do they have an online, or offline, rating form where you can check reviews from prior clients? (if not you should ask for references and know what to ask when you call.)all.)
Friends & Family as Pet Sitters
If you’re still going to go with your friends, (sure, they love your animals as much as you do, we know!) do them a favor and your pet a favor, too.
Rely on a couple or a pair of friends who can split the tasks and the workload easily.
Remember, your friends aren’t on vacation. Even a couple of days of obligation can end up being a pain, and your friends won’t tell you. Annoyed friends might even take it out by ignoring the cat or dog, throwing some food in the bowl and heading back to what they were doing. Experts don’t recommend relying on family or friends for more than about 4 or 5 days?
A couple or a pair of friends can split the work, and probably spend a little more time with your pets. Both sides will appreciate it.
- Whether or not you go with the pros or with your friends, jot down a list of the most important minimum requirements, for each day.
A list always increases your chances of getting done more of what should get done.
If you want to leave a tip, or the name of your favorite Pet Sitting company in the comments section below, all of our readers would like to hear from you. Prefer to board your pets while you’re away? Let us know where and why and we’ll mention your faves in a future article.