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Thanks for (Pet) Sitting

It takes a village to raise a child… and, apparently, a pet too. It's not so much the $41 billion a year Americans spend on pets ("more than the gross domestic product of all but 64 countries in the world") according to consumer research company, Packaged Facts, it’s actually becoming socially unacceptable to leave your dog alone during the day or your cat alone over the weekend. Pet sitting has gone from something we asked friends, family members, or neighbors to help with; there is an ever-growing range of resources that cater to the concept of leaving your family friend behind.

To see my top of the line finds,

In addition to downloadable pet report cards, don’t just leave instructions on the fridge, purchase a “Don’t Kill the Pets!” notepad ($6.99). While noting the vet’s emergency contact info, also provide a pet First Aid Kit ($46.95). If your stay is shorter, try the upmarket Perfect Petfeeder ($699) to hold and dispense up to 10 pounds of food and, get a PeTalk ($24.95) to play a 10-second message on one to four hour intervals, reminding pets to “get off the couch, Rascal, because mommy loves her good girl very, very much.” Afterwards, thanks don’t just come from you — involve your pet in the choosing a store-bought greeting or eCard from her perspective. One bark means yes, and two means no?


Join The Conversation
gruaig_rua gruaig_rua 9 years
I have just sprayed the monitor with a mouthful of tea but it was totally worth it! :ROTFL: Jessness that story is hysterical!! Obviously not for you but thanks so much for sharing! :)
ufshutterbabe ufshutterbabe 9 years
I am a petsitter, but I work for a company. One of my job perks is that my boss personally takes care my dog when I'm away! She rocks! Even when we were gone for 8 days and needed 3 visits a day, she wouldn't accept any payment for it. I got her back by giving her a dog photography book, $100 worth of restaurant gift certificates and a thank-you note (which still comes no where near the value her service is to me). I have no idea what I'd do without her, I'm very neurotic about how my dog is cared for! If you're looking for a petsitter, another site to check is - the website for Pet Sitters International
JessNess JessNess 9 years
My neighbor has watched our dogs a couple of times. She loves the dogs and plays with them which is nice. To return the favor I fed their dog while they went on a cruise. NEVER AGAIN!!!!! The dog went PSYCHO on me and would bark constantly and try to bite me. I know this dog and it has never acted like this before. Its a small dog but still. I wore my rain boots to the house so the dog could not bit my ankles. They also had this long FedEx box and I would use it to push the dog back into another room. Thats how bad it was. I refused to put his food down unless he was in another room. CRAZY dog!!
Choco-cat Choco-cat 9 years
I'm right in the middle of trying to deal with this. I am gone for 3 weeks over the holidays and need to figure out what to do with my two cats. One is very human social, so I don't think he'd like being alone for that long; but I don't think it's a long enough time that they'd adjust to a Boarding place. If you've used anyone good in the twin cities, MN, let me know!
cageyme cageyme 9 years
I certainly won't leave my dog alone overnight, but he is fine being by himself during the day. He sleeps 80% of the time anyway. The rest of the time he's on squirrel patrol via the windows. :dog:
gruaig_rua gruaig_rua 9 years
Phasekitty if you're willing to fly him to Ireland I'll watch him ;) He's so handsome!! I don't like the idea of the PeTalk - my dog would be off searching the house for me!
Phasekitty Phasekitty 9 years
I'd love to see more posts on this. I'm sort of in licia's boat as far as needing a pet sitter with Thanksgiving coming up and me not wanting to board my puppy. He'll be 5 months then, and he's all up to date with shots, but I really don't want to just hand him over to strangers. However, I don't know how to ask someone to watch him- I feel like it's a lot to ask, plus do you pay them or just give a nice thank you bouquet? He is still a puppy so he can be a handful, but everyone really loves him and he's super friendly. It's 5 days and we're flying out of town to my aunt's house where she has two big dogs that aren't very social, or else we'd bring him with us. What do you do in a situation like that?
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I just leave my cats (all three of them) with a bunch of food and water and break out the extra litter box. They are social enough with eachother that when we come back home its like we never left. I am convinced that left to thier own devices, they would learn to use the can opener.
licia licia 9 years
I actually have a pet-sitting crisis now, or I will at Christmas anyway. I'm leaving for nearly a week, and I can't bring my ferret :(
vinnie vinnie 9 years
We usually take the dog with us on weekend trips, and the cat stays home. If we go away for longer than a few days we'll have a pet sitter come feed the cat. We hate to burden friends with so many favors! Especially since we are the only ones with pets. We boarded our dog for a romantic weekend getaway, but we missed him the whole time!
nagumi nagumi 9 years
I actually AM a dog sitter. I started my own business 9.5 months ago and I'm doing really well! Actually, a boxer is laying his head on my knee right now! I'm in Jerusalem, Israel.
skiacresluv skiacresluv 9 years
I work at a doggy daycare/boarding facility and it's so much fun. Some people think it's silly, but I love being around HAPPY animals and all the ones we get are pretty spoiled, I love it!
nikodarling nikodarling 9 years
I have no problems leaving my pets home alone all day, though out of town is another story. I have a few friends that I pet sit for when they need it who will do them same for me. I find this the best solution.
kiddylnd kiddylnd 9 years
My friends and I have a sort of standing agreement that we will watch each other's pets when we are away. No payment, although we might leave really good snacks at our home for them when they are there. Chancleta - although a cat food and potty wise is fine alone a few days, social and human stimulation or interaction is preferred for most domestic pets. Not only is it good for them, but keeps them from being too upset with you when you return!
chancleta chancleta 9 years
stop the maddness ain't nothing wrong with leaving kitties alone for a couple days as long as you have a self dispensing food thing dogs are a different story i usually take mine with me or have the neighbors baby sit
brittanyk brittanyk 9 years
Usually I'll leave my cat alone for 2-3 nights. After than I'll get someone to watch him or take him with me. I always worry like crazy when I'm gone, but I have the automatic pet feeders and such so..yeah. I always feel guilty afterwards though.
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 9 years
I don't trust my cats with absolutely anyone, but I'm trying to learn to, and accept that no one will take care of them like I do and that it's OK. Here's an awesome pet sitter-finding website: A lot of people are on it--I love in an average city and there are hundreds to choose from to interview/grill.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I have my sister watch my kitties if and when. She wrapping up school to be a vet so I know they are in good hands. :)
aembry396 aembry396 9 years
I take my dog over to a friend's house when I go out of town for the weekends. I pay her pretty much the same I would pay for a, I've only done this a couple of times (in 3 months). I wonder if I am asking too much or if there is a way to say thank you more (the ecard from the dog is a cute idea). I know people have done this to me with their actual kids (but they sometimes "forget to pay," stay out longer than they say, and give very little notice). I just don't want to be one of those "moms." Do you think that you can ask your friends to babysit too much? Is paying fine, and leave it at that?
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