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What can I do to help my pet sitter take the best care of my pets?

You can help your pet sitter be a better friend to your pet by making sure there are no problems while you are away. Planning and preparation in the following areas will smooth the way:

  • Tell the pet sitter about all health problems your pet may have major or minor, past or present.
  • Provide written verification that your pet is up to date on its vaccinations.
  • Make sure your dog's collar fits. Otherwise he may slip out of a too-large collar while being walked.
  • If your dog is not accustomed to walking on a leash, practice with him before you leave.
  • Make a list of your pet's favorite hiding places. This will prevent the pet sitter from worrying if your pet is not where expected the sitter will know where to look.
  • Provide your own preferred method of flea control, even if your pets are currently flea free. Fleas multiply rapidly and can become a problem very quickly.
  • If you own both dogs and cats, do not ask the sitter to care for the dogs and "just ignore the cats;" in order to save a few dollars. A sitter's professionalism, ethic responsibility and conscience would not allow the oversight of a cat in need of food, medical care or human attention.
  • If your dog growls or snaps at a pet sitter during a "get-acquainted visit," understand that the pet sitter may ask that you make other arrangements for your dog's care during your absence.
  • Be honest about your pet's quirks, i.e. a dog that is nervous about having his leash put on, or a cat that does not like to be petted. The more your pet sitter knows, the better equipped she is to care for your pets.
  • How much should I tip my pet sitter?

    While pet sitters appreciate a tip it isn't absolutely necessary. Pet sitters care for your pets with a great deal of love, and frequently go "above and beyond" the call of duty. If you were provided with great service, it is appropriate to tip your pet sitter 10-20% of the total bill.

    When is it not appropriate to hire a pet sitter?

    There are some cases where pet sitting may not be the best alternative for your pet. Here are some examples.
    If your pet is in failing health, or requires more intensive care, we would suggest boarding your pet at your vet's office, which can provide 24 hour care.
    If your pet is aggressive, or doesn't react well to visitors or strange people entering your house, it would be best to board your pet.
    If your pet gets very destructive in your absence, or suffers from severe separation anxiety, he or she may be better off at a boarding kennel around other dogs and people.

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