Are you looking for a pet sitter to look after your fur babies while you’re on holiday? If you answer yes, then you should know that finding the right person for the job can be a bit of a challenge. It helps to know which skills and characteristics to look for when you’re doing sitter interviews. As pet owners ourselves, we have listed here the most important things to look out for when you’re choosing a pet sitter.
Patience – Every owner understands that when it comes to pets, things rarely go as planned. Pets sometimes just do not behave the way their humans want them to. This is why patience is a very important trait in a pet sitter. He or she must know how to stay calm so your pets do not feel and respond to nervousness or anxiety.
Love and Respect for Animals – A pet sitter must have a genuine respect and love for animals. You need to be able to trust that the person you will leave your pets with will care for them as much as you do. To gauge a potential sitter’s personality, ask them about pets they have owned (or still own); most embarrassing moment they’ve had while caring for someone else’s pets or how long they’ve been pet sitting. A person who truly loves animals will be enthusiastic telling these stories. It will also help you determine just how excited they are about looking after your own pets.
Another sign of genuine care for animals is when the sitter asks about how YOU take care of your pets. Is the sitter taking notes? Is he or she asking about your pet’s favourite toys, eating habits, level of playfulness, etc? This indicates that the sitter wants to get to know your pet and is willing to go the extra mile to make your pet feel comfortable should they get the job.
Experience – This particular trait can be subjective in the sense that you should look for a sitter with the level of experience that corresponds to the type of pet you have. If you have a pet with a medical condition for example. A pet that needs to be given medicine at specific times, whose food must be prepared a certain way require sitters with strong backgrounds in caring for high maintenance pets. Or if you have a dominant, large breed dog, it doesn’t make sense to hire a first time sitter.
Respect for your Rules – Choose a pet sitter who will be respectful of your house rules and abide by them. If your pets are not allowed on the couch or sleep in the bed, your sitter should not break those rules during their stay in your home. Choose a sitter who will be consistent and firm about your house rules.
Trustworthy – Ask for references, if you must. Remember you will leave your home and pet to a stranger. During the interview politely ask for a list of references you can call or letters of recommendation from previous pet sitting jobs. Websites like Aussie Pet and Home Minders for instance allow you to check sitter profiles and read pet owner reviews so you can gauge just how trustworthy your potential sitter is.