How to Choose Pet Sitters that Stay in Your Home – Caution Here!

There are times that you have to be away and can’t bring your dog with you. It could be a business trip or an emergency visit to a family member. During these times, you’ll look for pet sitters that stay in your home, especially if your dog has territorial issues. Also, by hiring a pet sitter that will stay in your house, you can lessen the anxiety that your dog is feeling.  But the question is this: how do you choose a pet sitter, especially one that will be in your home?

In this post, we discuss this matter together with some helpful tips and reminders so you, your pet, and your home will be in good hands.

pet sitters that stay in your home
Photo Credits: BarkPost

Consider asking for referrals

If you’re skeptical about hiring total strangers, you can ask your friends or family members of pet sitters they can recommend. That way, you’ll have added confidence that the person has a proven track record. You can also ask for referrals from your dog’s vet.

Chances are some of your friends or family members who have hired a pet sitter once. They can give you contact so you wouldn’t have to pick randomly among the applicants you’ll see on the web.

As much as possible, hire a sitter located near your home. That way, the distance wouldn’t be an issue and you’ll have peace of mind that your dog will be attended to right away.

Consider hiring from pet sitting companies

If you can’t find any referral, you should consider hiring from pet sitting companies like Wag! or Rover. These providers have vetted pet sitters whom they have background-checked. Still, you should proceed with caution and hire the sitter with the best reviews.

Also, check if the pet sitter has experience with your dog’s breed. For canines with special medical needs, always look for a sitter who has dealt with a dog with a specific condition.

The good thing about pet sitting services is they allow you to hire a sitter within your area. That way, you can meet the sitter ahead of time before you go for your trip.

Ask about the person’s experience with dogs

If you’re not into petting sitting apps, you can interview applicants and ask about their background. It’s almost imperative to hire a sitter who has a dog, to ensure that they know how to handle canines.

Also, you should ensure that the pet sitter can accommodate the time and day that you’ll be gone. And since they will be staying in your home, you should decide if you’re allowing them to take other things into your home or not.

Moreover, you should skip to another applicant if you see any signs of lying or lack of experience. Although experienced sitters may charge a higher fee, you can’t put a price on your pooch’s safety.

Know the cost

Another thing that you should know first is how much the pet sitting will be. Depending on the sitter’s experience or the service provider where you’re hiring, it can be anywhere between $25 and $50 per visit.

Take note that the average pet sitting cost is $25 per 30-minute stay. However, if you wish for the sitter to accompany your dog overnight, the fees will be as high as $75 per night. Take note that these are just ballparks and will vary widely per area and person you’re hiring.

Also, if you’re going to be away for a week, you must prepare at least $250 for pet sitting. Take note that this fee gets higher based on the number of dogs you have at home and the number of hours you want your dog accompanied.

How to know if the person is the right fit for your dog?

The next thing you have to check is if the person you’re hiring is the perfect match for your dog. We recommend the following tips for pet sitters that stay in your home:

*Let them interact in your home beforehand

Once you have picked a person to accompany your dog, ask that person if she can mingle with your dog before your trip. This can be a paid trial, which gives you first-hand experience of how the sitter will interact with your doggo.

During this trial, always look for red flags that could potentially be a deal-breaker.

*Opt for an insured pet sitter

Although sitters aren’t required to have a license, training, or insurance, it would be a great idea to hire someone covered with pet sitting insurance. Such a policy protects you and the pet sitter from potential damages that could occur while you’re away. This includes but not limited to fire damage, lost keys, minor injuries on your dog, and so on.

Moreover, sitters who purchased this insurance for the sake of the job say a lot about their sincerity. It’s also added peace of mind on your end.

Again, this isn’t a requirement, but a big plus. Besides, if the sitter is your close friend, you can live without this policy as long as the person is responsible enough.

*The person should have experience on your dog’s breed

When you’re hiring a sitter, always try to look for a person who has experience with a specific breed. That is if your pooch belongs to a common breed like Golden Retrievers, Poodles, Beagles, and so on.

However, this isn’t a requirement and one that you can make an exemption for if the sitter is highly experienced. Still, make sure that the person is skilled enough to deal with your dog’s personality, energy level, and health needs.

*Willingness to make video calls as you wish

Pet sitting services like Wag! allow pet owners to make video calls to pet sitters while they are away. You can settle the schedule of the calls with the sitter to ensure that you can stay in the know of your dog’s condition.

Also, the sitter you’re hiring should be willing to send regular updates, photos, and videos of your pooch.

How to keep your dog safe before you go

This is the biggest question of all. Since you’ll be away, it’s quite mind-racking to come up with a plan that will keep your dog safe in the hands of a sitter. Although we can’t offer an absolute solution, the following tips will surely come handy:

*Nanny cams are a big help

Nanny cams are wireless devices that you can mount all over your home. You can monitor the feed through a Wi-Fi connection. Also, you don’t have to tell this part to the sitter. This way, you can see what’s happening at home and how the sitter is treating your dog.

Over the years, nanny cams have caught pet sitters violating the set rules of the pet owner. Worse, they are also caught hurting the animal.

Through the feed of the nanny cam, you can pick up any negative behavior and act on it right away. You can send a relative at home to help your dog or call the sitter.

We recommend putting multiple nanny cams on the areas where you allow the sitter to stay (except the bathroom, of course).

*Give the sitter complete instructions

Before you go for your trip, make sure that you have given the sitter a complete background of your dog. Make sure that you have informed the sitter about your dog’s medical history, medications, physical conditions, diet, and special regimen.

Also, it would help if the pet sitter is trained for canine CPR. If not, make sure that you’ve left the phone number of your dog’s vet as well as the address of the vet clinic. Also, you should provide emergency contact should the pet sitter failed to reach you. It could be a friend or a relative living near you.

*Prepare an emergency plan

Aside from that, you should have an emergency plan in place. If your dog has a medical condition, you should inform the pet sitter of specific symptoms that requires immediate medical attention.

Moreover, you should also have a backup pet sitter just in case your main sitter has to attend to emergencies. This way, your dog won’t be left alone and you won’t have to cancel your trip prematurely.

*Pre-empt accidents

Take note that during pet sitting, minor accidents can happen. Your pooch may sustain paw wounds or it could encounter a stray animal, which could injure them. In these cases, be understanding and accept the fact that some situations are unpredictable.

Nevertheless, you can prevent any untoward incidents by preparing your home. Remove anything that could fall on or injure your pooch. Also, make sure that your yard is clean and free of any sharp objects. And if your pooch is a master escapist, you should get your fences repaired.

*Leave enough supply for your dog

Lastly, make sure that you left enough food and medicine supply for your dog. If you forgot to shop, make sure that you leave some money so the sitter can purchase the food. Still, it’s much better to have supplies ready in your home.

Photo Credits: Flamingo Pet Clinic

How to keep your home safe

Now that you know how to secure your pooch while you’re away, you should also prep for pet sitters that stay in your home:

*Put away expensive valuables

This isn’t to accuse the sitter of being a thief, but you’re just a homeowner taking proper caution. Remove any valuables and lock it in your room. This way, you’ll have peace of mind that your things are safe. If you have a safe box, it’s much better to stash jewelry, documents, and money inside it.

*Lock the rooms

One thing you should know about pet sitters that stay in your home is that you don’t need to give full access to your house. Lock all rooms except for one where you’ll allow the sitter to sleep and rest. Besides, the sitter doesn’t need to take a tour of the entire household. 

*Leave an extra key to a friend you trust

Once you’re all set, we recommend that you leave a key of your home to a person you trust. It should be someone living near you so they can respond to your home when things go south. Also, if the sitter failed to show up in time, you can ask that person to get your dog.

Final words

Hiring pet sitters that stay in your home can be a very challenging task. Letting a stranger stay in your home for days may not be a welcome idea for some, but for pet owners, it’s an experience they have to get used to.

Although there are news reports about bad experiences with pet sitters, you can prevent any untoward situation by being meticulous about who you hire. Also, communication is the key so you’ll know that your dog is in good hands and being taken care of properly.