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Professional Pet Sitters Week

March 1, 2021


Pet Sitters Week is celebrated the first week of March! This event was founded by PSI, the world’s largest professional pet sitters organization. As you may know, pet sitting is on the rise in many places. While your canine buddy would love to go everywhere with you, that just isn’t always possible. There will always be times that people need to leave their dogs in the care of others. A local vet discusses petsitting below.

Benefits of A Sitter

When should you use a sitter or dog walker? These professional pet caretakers can be a perfect solution for times when you are working long hours, busy, or even ill. Fido is usually pretty good about holding it, but he can only go so long without a walk. The fresh air, exercise, stimulation, and company a dog walker provides with those daily strolls will definitely benefit him, and just help break up his day a bit.

Sitter Or Boarding?

Which should you use: a pet sitter, a dog walker, or a kennel? While every circumstance is different, we would generally advise boarding when you’re going to be gone for a day or longer. It’s also worth noting that many kennels have reduced their hours or capacity, or even paused services, during the pandemic, which may make pet sitting the obvious choice for some.

Friends And Family

Many people ask friends or family members to watch their dogs when they go away. There are some obvious benefits here: it’s often much cheaper, and people are comfortable leaving their beloved pups in friendly, familiar hands. However, if something were to go wrong, that could strain—or even ruin—your relationship. You also won’t have the protection that a licensed petsitter, dog walker, or kennel would offer.

Choosing Fido’s Sitter

If you are going to use a pet sitter, your first and biggest concern will be screening applicants. Professional organizations do carefully vet their applicants, but even this isn’t always foolproof. Ask for references, and look at some review sites. You may also want to ask your friends, family members, co-workers, and vet for recommendations. One thing that is very important is making sure that your canine companion’s sitter or kennel is properly licensed, bonded, and insured. Of course, Fido should also be able to weigh in!

Trial Run

Whether you choose boarding or pet sitting, we recommend starting out with a short trial run. In case of boarding, an overnight stay will help Fido get used to his home away from home. With pet sitters and dog walkers, it just allows you a chance to see how things go.

Our Advice on Professional Pet Sitters Week in 2024

What specific qualifications or certifications should pet owners look for when choosing a professional pet sitter or dog walker?

When selecting a professional pet sitter or dog walker, pet owners should ensure the individual or service is properly licensed, bonded, and insured. Licensing confirms adherence to local regulations, while bonding and insurance provide financial protection against accidents or negligence. Additionally, affiliations with professional organizations like Pet Sitters International (PSI) indicate a commitment to industry standards. Checking reviews and asking for references can further validate their reliability and quality of care. A thorough screening, including a trial run, is advisable to assess compatibility with the pet and confirm the caregiver’s qualifications.

What types of insurance coverage should professional pet sitters and dog walkers carry?

Professional pet sitters and dog walkers should carry both general liability insurance and bonding. General liability insurance protects against claims of property damage and injuries to pets while under their care. Bonding provides additional protection against theft or dishonest acts by the pet sitter or dog walker. It’s also beneficial for these professionals to consider professional indemnity insurance, which covers legal costs and damages if they are sued for negligence or malpractice. These types of insurance ensure financial security for both the caregiver and the pet owner.

What contingency plans should professional pet sitters and dog walkers have in place in case of emergencies?

Professional pet sitters and dog walkers should have comprehensive emergency plans that include immediate access to the contact information of the pet’s veterinarian and a pre-approved emergency clinic. They should also maintain an up-to-date list of any medical conditions and medications for each pet in their care. It’s essential to have a clear agreement with pet owners about handling emergencies, including financial responsibilities. Additionally, having a backup plan, such as another qualified sitter or walker available, ensures that the pet’s needs are continuously met, even if the primary caregiver faces an unexpected situation.

Are there any specific health or behavioral concerns that pet owners should discuss with potential pet sitters or dog walkers before hiring them?

Before hiring pet sitters or dog walkers, owners should discuss any specific health conditions their pets have, such as allergies, chronic illnesses, or medication requirements. Behavioral issues should also be addressed, including how the pet interacts with other animals and people, any history of aggression, anxiety triggers, and their usual routines and commands. This information helps the caregiver provide tailored, safe care and manage the pet effectively in different situations. Clear communication about these details is critical for ensuring the well-being of the pet while under another’s supervision.

How can pet owners protect their homes and personal property when using a pet sitter or dog walker?

Pet owners can protect their homes and personal property when using a pet sitter or dog walker by hiring individuals who are bonded and insured, which provides financial protection against potential theft or property damage. Additionally, it’s wise to secure valuables and sensitive information before allowing a sitter access to the home. Using a reputable service or individuals with strong references and reviews can also increase security. Implementing a check-in system, such as daily updates or camera monitoring, allows owners to oversee the care and activity within their home remotely.

Is your pet due for vaccinations or an exam? Contact us, your local veterinary clinic in Carlisle, ON, today!

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