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Pet Sitters International Launches Summer 2016 Get A Real Pet Sitter® Campaign
This international public awareness campaign, launched by PSI in advance of the busy summer travel season, encourages pet owners to do their research before selecting pet-care providers.
With 65 percent of U.S. households owning pets (as well as 63 percent in Australia and 57 percent in Canada), the majority of these summer travelers are likely to be faced with an important question: "Who's going to take care of the dog and cat (or other pets) while I'm away?"
In advance of the busy summer travel season, Pet Sitters International (PSI), the world's largest educational association for professional pet sitters, has launched its summer 2016 Get A Real Pet Sitter® campaign.
The association's website, www.petsit.com, is home to the largest online directory of professional pet-sitting services. PSI's goal with this international public awareness campaign is to educate pet owners on the importance of using only professional pet sitters for their pet-care needs this summer and year-round. PSI also released this open letter to pet owners who don't use professional pet sitters (https://www.petsit.com/
"Often times, pet owners, and even news outlets, use the term 'pet sitter' carelessly, referring to anyone-from a family friend to the neighborhood teenager asked to walk a dog-as a 'pet sitter,'" says PSI President Patti J. Moran. "It is important pet owners understand that pet sitting is a professional career and professional pet sitters offer peace of mind that other pet-care options cannot."
According to the Orbitz® Insider Index, with the average vacation budget under $1,500, travelers will be seeking out savings. For traveling pet owners, PSI suggests cutting costs with booking packages and special hotel offers-but not by skimping on pet care.
To ensure a truly worry-free vacation, PSI's Get A Real Pet Sitter® campaign encourages pet owners to ask seven important questions when interviewing potential pet sitters:
• Does the pet sitter have the proper business license for your city or state, if required?
• Is the pet sitter insured and bonded?
• Can the pet sitter provide proof of clear criminal history?
• Does the pet sitter provide client references?
• Will the pet sitter use a pet-sitting services agreement or contract?
• Is the pet sitter a PSI Certified Professional Pet Sitter and/or has he or she participated in pet-care training, such as pet first aid?
• Is the pet sitter a member of a professional and educational association, such as Pet Sitters International?
"Just because you've seen a pet sitter in an online directory-or even on a nationally-publicized site-doesn't ensure he or she operates a legitimate, qualified pet-sitting business," explains Moran. "Anyone can post a profile advertising pet-sitting services, so it's important for pet owners to take a closer look to ensure they are hiring a 'real pet sitter' to care for their pets."
PSI also recommends pet owners schedule an initial consultation with a potential pet sitter prior to booking services and offers a Pet Sitter Interview checklist on its website to guide pet owners in the interview process.
PSI's 2015 Pet Sitter of the Year Gerry Arner, co-owner of Pet 'n Nanny LLC in North Carolina, adds this advice: "Book early. Because the summer months are traditionally very busy times for professional pet sitters, it's important to begin making your pet-sitting arrangements as soon as you begin planning your summer vacation."
Pet owners in need of pet-sitting services can visit PSI's Official Pet Sitter Locator™ at https://www.petsit.com/
Media contact: Beth Stultz
Pet Sitters International