Ernesto relaxes on his couch after playtime at his neighborhood park.
While professional pet sitters are great resources to provide excellent in-home care, there are many things you can do to ensure services are what you want & what your pet needs. The good news is, there are a plethora of pet sitting services available & any of them can be wonderful! Today, I want to offer you a few tips to help you find that perfect service for you & your furry family.
Find the Right Service for Your Pet
Ruff Mutts provides 2 different pet sitting services, the Vacation Service & the Overnight Vacation Service, giving our clients a couple of choices that can fit different pet needs & different pet parent budgets. The Vacation Service is designed for mature, well balanced dogs used to a routine based around a 9 to 5 job. The dogs have 2 long visits, one in the mornings & another in the evenings, & a quick potty break & tuck-in before bed. At only $45 per day, it’s an affordable option for keeping your dog in-home & on their regular schedule. The Overnight Service is fitting for puppies, dogs who are accustomed to having humans around many hours of the day, & dogs who suffer from some light separation anxiety. The service includes a minimum of 10 hours of service over a 24 hour period. That means our walkers are cuddling the pups overnight during a sleep over, enjoying them in the mornings & evenings with exercise, feedings, & play time, & visiting them midday for a walk or potty break. While pricier at $75 per 24 hour period, it certainly is the option that pulls out all the stops. Both services allow pets to stay in-home & connected to their regular routine. Many pet parents find this very important! While these are the 2 services that we provide, there are many more out there. You might find a variation of the services above, or maybe a sitter who offers boarding in their home, or maybe a doggie daycare facility with boarding is the best option for dogs who relish doggie play dates!
Don’t Assume Your First Choice is the Best Choice
If you’re in the market for a new sitter, do a trial run with a short trip to make sure the team & service is the right fit. Don’t try to find a brand new sitter right before a big trip – this is a good way to set up all parties to fail. Leaving your dog with new people for an extended time might not work out regardless of the quality of care. Even if great care is provided, your dog might feel anxious about your absence or the service might not be what your dog needs. Picking a weekend to do a trial run will give you & the pet sitter a good idea of whether or not you are a good fit.
Pick It & Stick With It
Consistency can really help pets when their parents are out of town. Once you find the right fit, pick a team & service you really like & stick with it. Your pets will have a repoire with the team just like you will. And, the pet sitters will learn more about your pets every time they care for them. Their bond will grow deeper. Instead of your pet being worried when you leave, he’ll be excited to jump into his usual vacation routine with his personal BFFs.
Rae & Bella cuddle up.
Set Your Pet & Pet Sitter Up for Success
Make sure that your pet sitter is prepared with all the details they need about your pet’s routine, exercise needs, attention needs, behavior, likes, dislikes, & basic needs. If you have a dog who is leash reactive, make sure your pet sitter knows to avoid distractions or hang on tight to the leash. If your cat has tummy issues, ask your pet sitter to keep an eye out for signs. Make sure your pet sitter has access to your home. It’s always a good idea to leave 2 keys in case something happens! Human error will be rare if you have a reliable sitter, but it’s always possible! Leave extra food, doggie bags, treats, long lasting treats, new toys, & the proper tools for your pet sitter to continue familiar care. Leave exercise toys and special treats like wet food, peanut butter, yogurt, & smelly treats that your animals can work on during those alone times. Here are some suggestions for food toys:
Kong Brand – Classic & Wobbler
Busy Buddy Brand – Tug-a-Jug & Twist-n-Treat
Cycle Dog – Turtle Toy
Jolly Pets – Monster Ball & Jolly Critter
StarMark – Everlasting Groovy Ball
Hopefully these tips will set you off to finding the pet sitter of your doggie’s dreams!