Why use a pet sitter?
Hiring a pet sitter is a great solution when you are busy with work or heading away on a holiday. With summer only weeks away and many of us jumping in the car to enjoy a road trip, it can be difficult to secure a booking in a busy cattery or boarding kennel. Likewise, not every pet is suited to this style of care and can experience stress or separation anxiety in these larger facilities.
Pet sitting allows your pet to either stay at home or stay in the home of the pet sitter. There are a number of reasons why this might be the right choice for your cat, dog, fish, chicken or guinea pig.
Today, we uncover the top reasons why pet sitting could be the perfect choice for your pet. We also explore some tips on how to choose the right pet sitter.
What are the benefits of pet sitting?
Pet sitting is flexible
Every pet is unique, and many are suited to the individual service that you can expect from a personal pet sitter. For example, your pet might need to maintain a specific routine (such as when toilet training a new puppy), or require medication at certain times of the day. Likewise, they might be happiest when they can enjoy a cuddle on the couch in the evening or a game of fetch first thing in the morning.
With a pet sitter, you can specify exactly what you want for your pet so that their routine is less likely to be disrupted when you are away. And importantly, a pet sitter can provide this level of care for any species of pet. Your goldfish or mouse doesn’t need to feel left out!
Pet sitting allows in-home care
Let’s face it: most pets love being at home, which is why it’s worth allowing them to stay put if possible. This is particularly true of cats, who can easily get stressed out when moved from their familiar territory.
As such, you might want to hire a pet sitter to drop by once or twice a day, or stay in your home to keep an eye on things. This can also have extra advantages, such as home security when you’re away for a few days. Your pet sitter can even bring in the mail and water the plants!
Socialisation and training
Some pets really do thrive on social interaction with other pets and people. In fact, it’s essential that younger dogs have adequate socialisation in order to grow to be well-adjusted adult dogs.
In this case, you might consider a pet sitter that can have your pet in their home during the day or overnight with some furry playmates. Alternatively, a pet sitter can always come by during the day to take your dog for a play in the local dog park while you are busy at work.
Your pet sitter can also help maintain a consistent training routine, such as if you are toilet training a puppy or teaching your dog to loose-leash walk. As we all know, consistency in training is key, so this can really keep things progressing well for your dog.
A pet sitter prevents separation anxiety
Some pets really fret when separated from their owners, and can benefit from a friendly sitter to keep them company.
In fact, separation anxiety can be truly debilitating for some pets. As such, traditional boarding kennels just aren’t always the right option in these cases. To make matters worse, separation anxiety can lead to destructive behaviours such as chewing, scratching, barking or even attempting to escape.
A pet sitter can keep a nervous pet company all day and night, especially if you request for them to house sit. Your pet can enjoy snuggling on the couch and the reassuring sound of a person at home, just like normal. Plus, your sitter can send you regular updates to keep you in the loop.
Trust and personalisation
Hiring a pet sitter allows you to choose the individual who will be spending time with your pet. As such, you can find an exact match for your pet's needs and personality.
When meeting your sitter, you have an opportunity to ask questions first and learn about their past experience. You can also share the history of your pet and any special details you want them to know. Plus, your pet can develop further trust and familiarity as they get to know their new human friend.
Essential tips for choosing the perfect pet sitter
Meet in person before booking
This is essential in making the right match with a pet sitter. Introduce your pet and allow the sitter to handle them and give them a pat. If you are taking your pet to the sitter’s home, check out their space. Your pet sitter should also introduce your pet to all furry clients that will be there are the same time.
Bring along a list of questions and be ready to answer any your sitter may have for you. Be sure to answer honestly. If either feels that it isn’t quite a match, there is no obligation to move forward with the booking.
Exchange contact details
This includes exchanging emergency contact information, just in case you can’t be reached. Share the name and number of a family member or friend who can give advice on your behalf if necessary.
Understand the pet coverage included in the booking
Read up on the details of what veterinary coverage is included in the pet sitting booking. Additionally, leave a copy of your vet’s contact information, your pet’s vaccination certificate and microchip information.
And if you have your own pet insurance, familiarise yourself with this before the booking. This includes exceptions, inclusions, gap payments and other important details.
Leave a list of instructions for your pet sitter
The best way to have a smooth booking is to be completely clear with expectations beforehand. As such, leave a detailed list of instructions for your pet sitter. Doing so will make it completely clear about what you expect.
If you are going away for a long period of time, leave a supply of your pet’s food and medications. Be sure to leave a little extra in case you are held up on your way home.
Are you ready to find the perfect pet sitter? Pawshake has sitters all over New Zealand offering a variety of services for every pet. Each booking includes a free meet and greet, veterinary coverage, secure online payments and more.