Countless individuals across the U.S. adopted pets during the pandemic last year, and that number has continued to increase into 2021. According to The Washington Post, Animal Care Centers of NYC reported that nearly 25 percent of individuals who fostered dogs at the beginning of the pandemic ended up adopting them permanently.
But that the country is opening back up and COVID-19 cases are subsiding, new pet owners are seeking vacations—and someone to watch their cat or dog while they’re out of town. As a pet parent, nothing is more comforting than finding a reliable and caring pet sitter. Here are the best ways to find a trustworthy pet sitter for your furry friend:
1. Post on Social Media or Nextdoor.com
There are often Facebook groups and Instagram accounts dedicated to pet wellness. If you are a member of a local group, create a post outlining the dates you’ll be away and the amount you’re willing to pay (or you can ask pet sitters to send quotes). Chances are, several people will have trustworthy sitters they can recommend.
If you prefer not to post on social media, Nextdoor.com is also a great option. There is a business column on their website where you can read reviews and find information about local sitters in the area. Some pet sitters may be willing to keep your dog or cat at their home, while others will agree to come to your house a few times per day (or week depending on the needs of your pet).
2. Search on Pet Sitter Sites
Pet Sitters International has a Pet Sitter Locator tool to help you find professional sitters in your area. Depending on your pet’s needs, you can filter the services by preferences: overnight sitting, house sitting, sitters who are first aid certified or insured, etc.
In addition to Pet Sitters International, the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters also has the option to look up local sitters through their website. Certified pet sitters will have a NAPPS-certified logo on their profile indicating that they have passed a test focused on first aid, pet handling, and professionalism. Additional pet sitter websites include:
3. Ask Your Veterinarian, Groomer, or Friends and Family
There is no better way to find trustworthy sitters than through those who already know your pet. Groomers, veterinarians, or your friends and family may have great pet sitter referrals, so ask around to find out if there are any trustworthy pet sitters in your area. If you have a dog, you can also go to the local dog park and ask if anyone has a reliable sitter they recommend.
4. Try to Begin the Search for a Pet Sitter Early On
If your trip isn’t happening for several weeks or months, get a head start on finding a reliable pet sitter early on in the process. It may take several weeks to find someone who you feel comfortable with and who has the availability to watch your pet during the time you’ll be away. After comparing prices and meeting with several sitters, it might also be a good idea to do a test run to ensure you’re completely satisfied with the pet sitter. This is also a great way to help your pet get acclimated to the pet sitter.
5. Ask the Pet Sitter to Sign a Contract
Regardless of how reliable a pet sitter may seem when you meet them, it is always best to get a contract in place to ensure everyone is on the same page. The contract should include the price, the number of times the sitter will visit your home each day, and services the sitter will provide—especially if they agree to take care of other house sitting duties such as picking up the mail or watering plants.
6. Install a Pet Cam
If you are leaving your pet home alone and the pet sitter will only come by a few times per day or week, it may give you additional peace of mind to install a camera for your pet. Inform the pet sitter that the pet cam will be turned on during the day so they know they’re on camera when they’re at your home. Having a pet cam installed will help you see if your furry friend eats something they’re not supposed to, gets stuck between furniture, or appears distressed for any other reason. You can then call the pet sitter and ask them to make an emergency trip, or call a friend or family member who lives close by.
7. Have a Backup Sitter in Place
Unexpected problems can arise at any time, and it’s always best to have backup options in place in the event your pet sitter has to cancel at the last minute. Let your friends and family know that you’re hiring a pet sitter and ask if they can watch your pet in the off chance your sitter has an emergency.
Reliable pet sitters make life as a pet owner a whole lot easier. It also helps to live in a pet-friendly building.
Not only are all Draper and Kramer properties pet friendly, but most buildings offer luxurious amenities for pet owners, such as indoor dog parks, pet spas, and more. Residents will have countless opportunities to mingle with other pet owners and ask for pet sitter recommendations. Building management is also available to help organize dog walking services or pet sitting recommendations.
Draper and Kramer’s Burnham Pointe building features an indoor dog park, which is a great perk for a rainy or snowy day! Hubbard221 offers a dog run and a pet spa and Eleven Thirty has a 24-hour dog deck and an onsite dog spa. Visit Draper and Kramer today to learn more about these pet-friendly properties.