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Pet Sitters International advises pet owners to book holiday pet care early
The association advises pet owners to only use the services of professional pet sitters this holiday season and to book early.
Pet Sitters International (PSI), the world's largest educational association for professional pet sitters, advises pet owners to secure holiday pet care now and to only use the services of professional pet sitters.
2017 is shaping up to be a busy year for holiday travel, with Airlines for America projecting a 3 percent increase in the number of passengers traveling on U.S. airlines over the 12-day Thanksgiving travel period.
"With so many people planning to travel this holiday season, pet owners should book pet care early to avoid unnecessary stress," said Beth Stultz, PSI vice president, marketing and operations. "Finding the right pet sitter for your family allows you to truly enjoy your holiday, but it takes time—time for phone interviews, an in-home meeting and a check of references."
According to a membership survey conducted by PSI last holiday season, more than 60 percent of its members are completely booked for holiday pet-sitting visits two to three weeks prior to the holiday—and nearly 13 percent are usually fully booked at least two months in advance.
PSI members indicated they try their best to accommodate last-minute bookings, but if they are completely booked, they recommend other nearby pet sitters as well as PSI's Pet Sitter Locator (https://www.petsit.com/
PSI provides pet owners with access to the largest online directory of professional pet sitters free-of-charge and recommends that pet owners schedule an initial consultation with a potential pet sitter prior to booking services.
"Knowing that a beloved pet can enjoy the stress-free environment of its own home during the holiday season can provide great peace of mind for pet owners," said Patti J. Moran, PSI founder and president. "But, it's important that pet owners understand what to look for and what questions to ask when selecting a professional pet sitter."
PSI advises pet owners to ask seven important questions when interviewing a potential pet sitter:
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 also warns traveling pet owners that all online pet-sitter directory sites are not created equal.
"Just finding a pet sitter in an online directory—or even on a nationally-publicized site—doesn't ensure that person is a legitimate, qualified pet-sitting business," Moran explained. "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."
Even for pet-owners who don't plan to travel long distances, a pet sitter can also come in handy to help keep pets on their regular schedules while the owners are out shopping late or enjoying holiday parties.
Pet owners who need in-home pet care during the holiday season can visit http://www.petsit.com/
About Pet Sitters International
Founded in 1994 by Patti J. Moran, author of Pet Sitting for Profit, Pet Sitters International (PSI) is the world's largest educational association for professional pet sitters, with member pet-sitting businesses in the United States, Canada and more than 20 other countries. PSI members have access to the widest array of business services and educational resources available in the professional pet-sitting industry. PSI's Pet Sitter Locator is the largest online directory of professional pet sitters, and pet owners can visit petsit.com/locate to find local professional pet sitters.
Pet Sitters International