I'd rather bring North to a doggie hotel when I take vacations, but others prefer having people come over to watch furry friends instead of shipping the animals away, especially with super-sensitive cats. Some petsitters will also opt to watch your animals in their home environment, not yours, but either way, it's time to do your homework!
Always ask for referrals and references, both from other clients or to find recommendations from trusted sources. Then take note of these key questions and tips when choosing.
- Are there established, published lists of fees for the most common pet-care requests? You'll want to be able to figure out (and guarantee) consistent, reasonable rates for your budget beforehand.
- Is the petsitter bonded and insured? In addition to seeing proof of coverage, ask about the emergency plan pertaining to natural disasters and medical emergencies — get information about emergency facilities nearby as well as other backup contacts just in case.
- Can you schedule an in-person, home visit beforehand? While there, check if she's comfortable and competent around your pet with a positive attitude. This is a great opportunity to watch them interact and show her where everything is located.
- Is everything laid out in a contract? Make sure everything you've agreed on — like length of time for each visit and the number of total visits — is spelled out in addition to payment terms and length of visit.
Feel free to add more advice in your comments below!