It's time for a vacation! But what do you do with the puppy? This article has all you need to know about hiring a pet sitter for that bursting-with-energy new puppy!
Should I Hire a Pet Sitter?
We all love our canines like our children, right? Puppies are amazing, almost too cute, endlessly fun, and you never want to leave them. But sometimes work and travel are just unavoidable. So who will watch your lovable puppy? Where do you start? How do you find someone to take care of your precious pup? And can you find someone that you actually trust?
My dogs are very much like children to me, and I wouldn't trust them to just anyone. But there are plenty of trusted local pet care professionals in every city. Pet care professionals who are certified, trained, and accountable to the company they work for are much more likely to give you peace of mind while you are away from your puppy. These are local pet care professionals who love pets so much that they chose a career in taking great care of animals!
If you're still wondering whether or not to hire a puppy sitter for your furbaby—while you're on vacation or at work—think through some of these benefits.
10 Benefits of Hiring a Puppy Sitter:
- Your puppy gets to stay in their familiar home environment.
- Your puppy gets to stick to their regular routine and diet.
- You have someone playing with your puppy and giving them attention.
- Your puppy avoids travel anxieties and motion sickness.
- Your puppy will get plenty of exercise and playtime.
- You know that your puppy is in caring, responsible, professional hands.
- You know that the pet sitter is trained to deal with vet visits, medications, and medical emergencies.
- There's no guilt from having to impose on friends and family.
- You have someone watching your house—knowing that it's more secure.
- Your puppy can get familiar with the same pet sitter over and over.
What to Look for When Hiring a Puppy Sitter
Now that you're considering hiring a puppy sitter to take care of your sweet pooch, let's talk about how this all works. What do you look for? Where do you find them? How do you interview them? And how do you know they'll be a good fit?
This may seem a little overwhelming, but no worries! We will talk you through it every step of the way. But first things first… where do you find a puppy sitter?
Where Do I Find a Puppy Sitter?
There are a few ways to go about this. Of course, you can ask your friends and family if they've used any local pet sitters and what their experience was like. Or you can even ask your veterinarian if they personally know reputable pet sitting professionals. The important part is to ask for an honest review of those professionals from the people you trust.
Our recommendation is to use LocalPetCare.com to search for local pet care professionals in your city. You just type in your zip code, and a whole list of trusted pet care companies near you will pop up. LocalPetCare.com works with independent, local pet care companies in hundreds of cities throughout the United States who are top of the line, and genuinely passionate about pet care.
Local Pet Care only works with professional pet care companies, meaning they are more than likely: highly trained, fully insured, bonded, and certified. "Training will often include learning animal behaviors, learning safety measures, and usually learning Pet First Aid and CPR."
So although you may have a friend or family member who you trust to watch over your puppy, they probably don't have the same emergency training that a pet care professional does. And most Local Pet Care listed businesses provide their clients with an app called Time To Pet that pet parents can download "to receive visit report cards, track GPS for dog walks, update pet information, make payments, and much more."
What Questions Should I Ask?
All that said, people are still people. And you or your pup could still have a bad experience. So it's essential to meet in person, and interview your pet sitter or dog walker before scheduling them to take care of your furbaby. Here's a list of some important questions to ask your potential puppy sitter.
- How long have you been a pet sitter or dog walker?
- Do you have any references?
- Are there any breeds you won't pet sit or walk?
- Do you have emergency medical training like Pet First Aid & CPR?
- What is your philosophy on positive reinforcement training?
- Are you licensed and insured? (Ask to see their paperwork.)
- What is the backup plan if you get sick and can't make it? (Make sure to interview any and all people who might take care of your puppy.)
- What are the costs? (Carefully read contracts before signing.)
- Are you comfortable with administering medications?
- How will you handle things if my puppy gets sick?
- How will you keep my key and alarm code secured and safe?
- Ask them to send you photos and updates while you're gone.
Tips for Interviewing Potential Puppy Sitters
During the interview process, there are some key things to think through and watch for. Here are some tips to help you find out if this is the right pet sitter for you and your puppy. And just remember, it's OK to interview multiple puppy sitters before making a decision.
- Make sure to have your plans, notes, and details about pet sitting your puppy ready before the interview. Clear expectations are important.
- How is the pet sitter interacting with your puppy? Do they seem to get along? Does your pet trust them?
- Are you comfortable with this person? It's important that you get along with them and feel like you can fully trust them.
- Do you feel like this person is carefully listening to you and taking your concerns seriously? Are they taking notes?
What About References?
YES! Always ask for at least 3-5 references, and make sure to actually call them. This is a job for the pet sitter. And just like any other job, references should be asked for and called. Just because they write down references, doesn't mean you don't need to follow up and talk with those people.
Puppy Sitter Checklist!
Remember to leave all the necessary supplies, equipment, and information organized and ready for your puppy sitter. Set them up for success, so your little pooch can have the best experience possible.
Items you need to leave with your puppy sitter:
✓ Food with measuring scoop, and directions about amount & frequency.
✓ Food and water bowls.
✓ Treats and any bones you want your puppy to have—with frequency instructions.
✓ Medications with directions about amount & frequency.
✓ Dog's wearing a collar with an ID tag that has the owner's contact information.
✓ Your dog's favorite toys.
✓ Dog bed and any other comfort items.
✓ Dog's harness and leash.
✓ Cleaning supplies in case of an accident or if your puppy gets sick.
✓ Puppy poop bags and a location to dispose of the waste.
✓ Key and/or alarm code with instructions.
✓ Any other important household rules, instructions, and information.
✓ Pet owner's contact information.
✓ Veterinarian's contact information.
✓ Local emergency animal hospital contact information.
✓ Secondary contact person's information if they can't get a hold of you.
How Much Should I Pay a Pet Sitter?
The cost of a pet sitter varies based on which city and state you live in, the company they work for, and their amount of experience. You can use the Calculator Tools from Time To Pet to see what dog sitters are charging in your area. Overnights will be a bit more expensive and will vary depending on your geographic location.
- National Average: $25-$30
- Low-End Cost: $15-$20
- High-End Cost: $65-$90
- Low-End Cost: $20 per day
- High-End Cost: $50 per day
- Low-End Cost: $45 per night
- High-End Cost: $75 per night
- Low-End Cost: $250 per week
- High-End Cost: $375 per week
Pet Sitting Hourly Rates
- National Average: $25 per hour
- Low-End Cost: $15 per hour
- High-End Cost: $60 per hour
Local Pet Care Professionals are Waiting for You
The moral of the story is… Your pets are in good hands when you hire a trusted pet care professional. You can rest easy, knowing that a well-trained, responsible, certified professional is giving your sweet puppy all the care and love they deserve when you're gone.
For other helpful articles about pet parenting and fun, dog-friendly activities, check out the Blog on LocalPetCare.com.