Excluding the rates that pet sitters charge for taking care of pets, pet owners may incur additional expenses when hiring the services of these pet sitters. Some of these expenses include:
- Transportation expenses: Pet sitting often requires the pet sitter to visit the pet owner's house to look after their pet. In some cases, you may be required to reimburse the pet sitter the cost of getting gas or paying a bus fare to get to your location.
- Veterinary expenses: Pet sitters are sometimes required to take pets to veterinary clinics when their owners are away. This additional cost typically includes transportation expenses, veterinary fees, and compensation for the time spent in the veterinary clinic.
Note that it is always a good idea to ask the pet sitter that you intend to hire whether you may incur any other additional expenses based on the specific type of service that you need. Find out how you will be billed for these expenses and come up with a payment structure that is favorable to you and the pet sitter.
Pets are part of our families, and they also need regular, life-long care to stay healthy. As such, it is necessary to leave your pet in the hands of an experienced, qualified, and competent individual when you are away. To achieve this, you should always ask who will do the job when you hire a pet sitter. You can ask the pet sitter that will be taking care of your pet if they are certified. Request proof of certification and verify the information by contacting the organization that issued the certificate. Also, you should ask the pet sitter if they were trained to provide pet CPR and first aid. Knowing that your pet sitter can handle any health-related emergency in your absence is very important. Finally, since the pet sitter will be taking care of your pet in your home, it is vital to carry out adequate background checks on the pet sitter you intend to hire.
Pet sitters typically have a minimum educational qualification of a high school degree or its equivalent. Besides a high school degree, pet sitters need to obtain adequate knowledge and experience about the profession. This is usually acquired through on-the-job training in a pet sitting facility. In addition to this, pet sitters may voluntarily enroll in several certification programs such as the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters Certification Program and Pet Sitters International Certification Program. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are currently 350, 900 animal care and service workers in the country. These include professional pet sitters that are practicing in any of the 50 states in the country.
Since there is always a possibility that your pet sitter will have access to your home when you are away, you must ensure that you are hiring the right person for the job. To achieve this, you must always ask the pet sitter you intend to hire to provide a list of references that you can contact. Contact the individuals named on this reference list and ask important questions like whether the pet sitter can be trusted with your property and if they are competent in what they do. Asking these questions reduces your chances of falling into the hands of unscrupulous individuals posing as pet sitters.
You can also avoid unscrupulous individuals by hiring a pet sitter that belongs to a professional association. For instance, associations like Pet Sitters International allow interested members of the public to search for registered pet sitters in their locality. You can also find competent and trustworthy pet sitters on third-party review websites like Better Business Bureau and Yelp.
Quick Facts about Pet Sitters
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Before taking a pet sitting job, it is always important to have a clear idea about the following topics:
- Emergency care: You should have basic knowledge of pet CPR and first aid. In addition to this, you should find out how far the nearest emergency veterinary hospital is from the client's house. You should also ask the client what they are willing to spend on emergency care before taking the job. This gives you a clear idea of how you should negotiate with a veterinary doctor in case of any emergency.
- Health needs: Before you take any pet sitting job, you should ask if the pet has any underlying health condition. You should also ask the pet owner the steps they are taking to control the condition. If the pet is taking medications, you must find out whether there are enough supplies to take care of the pet in the pet owner's absence.
- Social life: Always ask your potential client certain questions about their pet's social life. This includes whether the pet is taken for walks regularly, if the pet is used to being alone, and how or when the pet likes to play. Understanding the pet's social life helps you adjust to their preference accordingly.
- Pet foods: Most pets are placed on special diets for several reasons ranging from weight management and cell maintenance to increasing their strength and vitality and improving their overall health. You have to find out the type of food the pet will eat, why the pet is eating that particular food, and what quantity of the food is required per meal.
- Exercise: Before you take a pet sitting job, you should ask whether the pet will engage in any exercises. You should also find out the type of exercise the pet is used to and the number of times they are expected to exercise during your visit.
Pet sitting may last 15 minutes to 24 hours, depending on the type of service provided. For instance, live-in services last 24 hours or more, while overnight care lasts five to eight hours. In contrast, short visits may last anywhere between 15 minutes to three hours. It is always a good idea to discuss the length of pet sitting visits with a potential client before accepting the job.
Pet sitting is dangerous when you consider the physical risks involved in handling a pet. Pet sitters can sustain several injuries while doing their job. These include:
- Injuries from animal bites and scratches: Pet bites and scratches may cause severe pain and noticeable scars on your skin. Besides the physical pain and scars, you may also get infected through pet bites and scratches. Pet bites typically occur when a client's pet becomes very aggressive over food or toys. Some pets may also become very aggressive when they are meeting the pet sitter for the first time. You should always see a doctor after a pet bite or scratch.
- Torn or pulled ligament: Due to the level of physical activity and quick movement required to keep up with pets, pet sitters are always at risk of pulling a ligament. In many cases, pet sitters may sustain injuries in their ankles and wrists.
- Broken bones: In addition to pulling a ligament, pet sitters may also sustain a broken bone in any part of their body, usually as a result of falls, slips, and trips that can occur from situations like stumbling over a tangled leash. In some situations, injured pet sitters may need to hire a physical therapist to recover from some of these injuries.
The number of daily visits your pet sitter has to make usually depends on the type of pet involved. For instance, indoor-only dogs require a minimum of three visits per day. This usually covers morning, afternoon, and evening care. In contrast, cats typically require one to two visits per day. It is always a good idea to allow the pet sitter to access the situation to determine what is best for your pet.
Yes, a pet sitter can stay at your home all day or overnight. This is usually dependent on the type of service you need. Many pet sitters offer both live-in and overnight care. However, overnight services are more common than live-in services because many pet sitters work in pet sitting facilities during the day. In addition to this, many pet sitters also offer pet sitting services to other clients during the day.