News By Tag
News By Place
Pet Sitters International offers tips for securing quality pet care this vacation season
The association advises pet owners to start the search early and do their research before booking pet-care providers this year.
Pet Sitters International (PSI), the world's largest educational association for professional pet sitters, encourages pet owners to engage the services of professional pet sitters.
"With the growth of the pet-sitting industry, pet owners do not have to rely on untrained or unwilling friends, family members or neighbors when travel keeps them from their pets," explains PSI President Patti Moran.
But PSI encourages pet owners to do their due diligence when selecting pet-care providers. News stories of tragedies caused by hobbyists calling themselves "pet sitters" have become more common as the number of pet-care directory sites has grown and articles have touted pet sitting as an easy way to earn extra cash.
"Anyone can post a profile advertising pet-sitting services," Moran says, "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 offers the following tips for pet owners seeking pet care:
Begin the search for pet care as soon as possible. Whether you are trying to book a last-minute spring trip or your summer vacation, begin seeking a pet sitter as soon as you start planning the trip. Finding the right pet sitter for your family takes time—time for phone interviews, an in-home meeting and a check of references.
You also want to ensure that your preferred pet sitter doesn't get booked up before you can secure his or her services. Summer is typically a busy time for professional pet sitters.
Schedule an in-person meeting with any potential pet sitter. An initial meeting, often called a "meet and greet" or an "initial consultation,"
Moran advises, "Just as some people are 'dog people' and others are 'cat' or 'bird' people, there's no 'one size fits all' when it comes to finding the right pet sitter to meet the specific needs of you and your pet."
Ask the right questions when interviewing a potential pet sitter. Pet owners can download a free pet-sitter interview checklist (https://www.petsit.com/
1. Does the pet sitter have the proper business license for your city or state, if required?
2. Is the pet sitter insured and bonded?
3. Can the pet sitter provide proof of clear criminal history?
4. Does the pet sitter provide client references?
5. Will the pet sitter use a pet-sitting services agreement or contract?
6. Is the pet sitter a Certified Professional Pet Sitter (CPPS™) and/or has he or she participated in other pet-care training, such as pet first aid?
7. Is the pet sitter a member of a professional and educational association, such as Pet Sitters International?
PSI's site also offers a free ZIP/postal code search for U.S. and Canadian pet sitters, as well as an international pet sitter search, at www.petsit.com/
Because professional pet sitters come to clients' homes, pets' routines are uninterrupted, exposure to illness is minimized, and they don't experience the stress of a new environment. Pet owners have peace-of-mind that their pets are well cared for while they are away.
"Finding a pet sitter you trust allows you to truly enjoy your vacation," adds Moran.
To learn more about PSI or professional pet sitting, visit www.petsit.com.
Pet Sitters International