Going away on holiday should be a fun time, but many people find that if they have a pet they’re leaving behind there is always a slight nagging worry that maybe the kennel or boarding place they are leaving them in isn’t going to be spending enough time with them, or they may become too anxious without the family or some familiar surroundings. This is where a pet sitter steps in to help out, a great balance of caring for the pet whilst leaving it familiar surroundings can do wonders to soothe a family’s nerves but there are some things that every prospective pet sitter should know before putting themselves on the market.
It may seem a pretty obvious one, but one big part of pet sitting is having experience so you can handle certain situations when they arise. This is where pet sitting, rather thankfully, differs from the business world; you can gain experience from owning your own pets and volunteering at shelters rather than trying to find jobs without any previous experience. If you own a pet then you’re already going to know a fair amount of strategies and bits of information – like not feeding dogs chocolate and being able to read when a cat’s body language means no more petting!
Are you Compatible?
Make a point of visiting the owner and pet before they go away, see how well the pet gets on with you and how well it will listen. This way you’ll be able to gauge just how well you’ll be able to manage when the family are away and the family will be put at ease, safe in the knowledge that their pet will be comfortable with you around.
Getting to know the pet beforehand and taking the time to feed it while in the owner’s presence will also help to alleviate any anxiety the pet may have when its owners leave and you are taking care of it – a quieter, calmer time will be had by all.
Check for any Allergies or Special Requirements.
Some animals will have special dietary requirements or medicine that they need to take, this could be due to illness or old age but it always pays to not only sit and listen to any special requirements that the owners may have but also request them in written form, along with their vet’s number so you can call and request further information should anything happen while the family is away. Also, ask to see if they have cover, if you compare pet insurance plans at the vet when covered as opposed to uncovered you’ll know what we mean.
Play by the Rules
Whilst you may want to spoil the dog your pet sitting for you might be doing more harm than good. Make sure to check if there are any house rules for the pet, are they allowed on the furniture? Are they forbidden from going in certain rooms? Is there a schedule you need to stick to? Keeping the animals you are looking after on a similar schedule will help lessen the anxiety and make sure they don’t pick up any bad habits whilst their owners are away, but don’t be afraid to shove them a little love with some fuss and play!