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Pet Sitters International provides tips for pet owners taking last-minute summer trips
The association urges pet owners to take steps to ensure they are hiring true professionals to care for their pets this summer and throughout the year.
Pet Sitters International (PSI), the world's largest educational association for professional pet sitters, advises pet owners to take the time to select a professional pet sitter to care for their pets.
News stories of tragedies caused by pet lovers looking to earn extra cash and calling themselves "pet sitters" have become more common as the number of pet-sitting and dog-walking apps has grown and articles have touted pet sitting as an easy side job.
"When it comes to finding pet care, don't prioritize convenience over quality," explained PSI Vice-President Beth Stultz. "Just because you can quickly find and book the services of a pet lover with a profile on a pet-sitting or dog-walking app doesn't mean you are choosing a qualified pet-care provider."
PSI advises pet owners to take the following steps to ensure they are hiring not just a pet lover, but a pet lover who is also a true pet-care professional:
Schedule an in-person meeting with any potential pet sitter. While a phone call or a review of a pet sitter's website or online listing may provide important information, there is no substitute for an in-person meeting at your home—with your pets present.
An initial meeting, often called a "meet and greet" or an "initial consultation,"
Make sure you ask the right questions. 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?
Ask a professional pet sitter for a recommendation. Many professional pet sitters find that their summer schedules get booked up quickly, which is why PSI recommends pet owners start the search for pet care as soon as possible. But if the professional pet sitter you initially contact is booked, be sure to ask him or her for a recommendation. Most professional pet sitters are happy to provide referrals to other reputable pet-sitting companies if their schedules are already full.
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/
"Finding a pet sitter you trust allows you to truly enjoy your vacation," PSI President Patti J. Moran said.
To learn about PSI or becoming a professional pet sitter, visit 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