Finding a suitable pet sitter for your dog or cat can be anxiety-inducing, not unlike the hand-wringing parents do when deciding to hire their first kid sitter for their children — whether it’s a people or a pet you love, it is not easy to leave them in the care of someone else. For pet parents, a lot of the considerations that arise depend on the needs their pet has and the responsibilities they will be turning over to the pet sitter. When you are ready to hire your first pet sitter, here are some things to consider:
- The amount of individual attention the pet sitter is willing or is able to give to your pet.
- The amount of experience the pet sitter has with your type of pet. Most pet parent hire sitters to watch over cats and dogs, so if your pet is a bird, fish, hamster, or iguana, ask if your prospective pet sitter has cared for your type of pet before.
- How many other “pet clients” will the sitter also care for over the time period you will be hiring him or her to care for your pet. A busy pet sitter is a good sign, as long as she or she is not too busy to give your pet the time and care it needs.
- The amount of money you should spend on pet sitting services. This will depend on your budget, but it helps to know what to expect to pay for typical pet sitting services. For example, dog walking services in Northern California range from $14-$20 per walk depending on how long your dog needs to be walked and the average cost for a 30 minute walk for one dog is $20. Pet sitting visits to your home average between $14-$25 for a 15 to 30 minute visit. Overnight petsitting services in your home, or at the sitter’s home vary but average costs range anywhere from $50-$100 per night.
- Pet sitting needs may be as simple as checking on food and water and letting your dog or cat out in the backyard, but you should take into account the specific types of services your pet needs and be sure the petsitter can meet all of those needs.
- Ask for references and do contact one or two yourself to ask about the reliability of the pet care provider.
- Talk to your friends who have pets — chances are, they have someone they rely upon and trust.
- Ask if your prospective pet sitter carries liability insurance.
These are just a few considerations to get you started. If you need further advice, contact one of our staff members for additional tips. We are in the business of pet sitting so we have the expertise, but we also know how much love our clients have for their pets so don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends at Paradise Pet Resorts with any pet care or pet boarding questions you have as you prepare to hire your first pet sitter!