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By Brittany Naquin

Getting a pet sitter for the first time

Congratulations! You are now the proud parent of a beautiful, bouncy, baby (insert animal here). Having a pet is fun and exciting! There are so many things you can do with your pet. However, there are also a lot of things you cannot do with your pet. We do not all have a family member that can just keep our furry loved one whenever we need them to. This is where pet sitters come into play.

Pet sitters are great for when an owner needs to go out of town for work, has an overnight excursion, or is going on vacation. It is very important to leave a pet in the hands of someone experienced in pet care. So what characteristics should a pet sitter posses?

A pet sitter should be:

  • Trustworthy
    • Do you feel like your pet will be safe and loved?
  • Reputable
    • Does this sitter have good references?
  • Experienced
    • Has this sitter actually watched a pet before or is it the first time?
  • Knowledgeable
    • How much does this sitter know about your type of pet, your breed and its needs?
  • Flexible
    • Is the sitter okay with coming to your house? Giving medicines?

Here are some things to remember when leaving your pet with a sitter:

  • Inform the sitter about the pet's medical history, habits, and routines
    • It is very important for the sitter to know anything medically relevant to your pet. In the case of an emergency, your sitter should be able to tell any vet enough about your pet to be effective.
    • Tell your sitter of any funny or weird habits that could be interpreted as worrisome. If your sitter is concerned, knowing these habits will be able to calm that concern.
    • Domesticated animals thrive on routine. It is already a weird situation with their human not being home; not having their routine in place can make your pet feel even worse.
  • Stock the house with plenty of pet supplies
    • Leaving your pet with a sitter should be easy on everyone. Remembering to stock everything up (food, leashes, medicines, treats, etc.) will help ensure that your pet does not go without, your sitter doesn't have to pay for supplies out of their own pocket, and you do not have to reimburse later on. It will also relieve some of your worries.
  • Consider leaving the sitter and your pet at home
    • Pets do better in their comfortable, familiar surroundings. Try asking your sitter to stay at your house so your pet isn't any more stressed out! Plus, this could be a double win if your sitter is interested in house sitting or if you have more than one pet!

Leaving your pet can be stressful, but it can provide benefits to you as an owner by allowing you more freedom. There are a few things to remember before leaving the house, but overall, using a pet sitter is a good investment. It gives you peace of mind and gives your pet another special friend. Not sure where to find a good sitter? You can get referrals from local veterinarians, pet stores, and grooming shops.

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