You’ve probably been on Facebook or Nextdoor and seen a neighbor ask for a pet sitter before. We see it in our area all of the time. Inevitably, our incredible customers pop up and recommend us – which – by the way, we are so thankful for!!
But, if you hang around for a bit, you may see person after person pop in and claim to be a pet sitter, dog walker or pet lover who can help out and not charge a lot. We see it constantly. There are a handful of them in our area that really make us worried (not competition-wise, but because we fear for their ability to properly care for the pets in their charge – or – in some cases, we have heard horror stories about them and hope no one takes their super cheap bait.
Maybe you’ve even seen the occasional recommendation to check out one of the online pet sitting booking engines (one rhymes with over and the other with tag – there are probably more out there). Maybe you’ve even thought, well, why not?
Hiring a Pet Sitter is more than just hiring someone to come and let your dog out to go potty and making sure there is food in the bowl – we know most of our audience knows that, but maybe, you’ve never thought about it.
Hiring a Professional means you’re hiring a company who:
- Has made Pet Care their business. They have a business name, they have a logo, they have professional business cards (even if we forget to hand them out!), they have a website and yea, they may even have a Facebook page.
- Has a contract that protects you….and them. A contract is important – it gives you protection in case they screw up or something goes haywire and it protects them in case someone opts not to pay or forgets to tell them workers are coming while they are gone and the dog runs out the door.
- Has set pricing – they don’t tell you, “We’ll work something out” or “I have the cheapest prices”
- Is Insured with a policy specific to Pet Sitting and Dog Walking (not just dog walking and not just liability insurance for any sort of company). These policies protect your home, your pet and emergencies and accidents that can happen when dealing with the two.
- Isn’t going to show up with their girl friend, boy friend, best friend or someone else to “hang” with your parents. A Professional may bring another pet sitter with them, this person is generally in-training or is listed a sitter on their website.
- Isn’t going to skimp you on your visits. We hear this all the time, “We had a bad experience and realized our visits were cut way short – like only 5 minutes instead of 30” or, “They told us they were going to come three times a day, but our cameras only saw them there twice”
- Educates themselves. Constantly. Most non-professionals do not spend time developing their skill. Why? Because in their mind, they are “just cuddling with cats” or “just letting dogs out to potty.” In other words, they don’t feel there is anything to learn. There are THOUSANDS of books on pet care, dog behavior, cat behavior, training and all other manners of pet care. There are also thousands of websites, hundreds of blogs and podcasts, webinars, classes, videos, pet care conferences and more. A professional knows they need to stay educated and keep educating themselves.
- Realizes to the depths of their being that providing in-YOUR-home pet care means their customers are entrusting their lives to them. That may sound extreme, but every time myself or my sitters walk into a client’s house, I feel deep in my gut the biggest responsibility. We are entrusted with oftentimes a person’s biggest investments – their home, the cars they leave behind, the possessions that fill their homes, private and important documents, and valuables beyond thought. We are also entrusted with their pets: living, breathing beings that trust us whole-heartedly to care for them, be nice to them, feed them, let them relieve themselves, love on them and give them our attention and love. We instill this responsibility and the weight of it in each of our pet sitters so that they NEVER forget how important this job is. That they never brush this off as a fun time to hang with a cute cat or cuddly dog.
We know choosing a pet care provider is not an easy task and often times Professional Pet Care fees are higher than we may want to pay. There are so many more reasons to choose a professional, but we’ll get into those in future blogs.
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