Going on a vacation? Joining a business trip? Attending a family event? Pet sitters always come handy during these occasions. Don’t let your doggo get heartsick or anxious. With the help of pet sitting services, you have peace of mind that they are safe and taken good care of.
Many dog breeds are prone to separation anxiety. And like kids, they will throw tantrums if left alone. This dog anxiety can cause destructive behavior, constant barking or howling, and other negative behavior.
What are pet sitters?
Like what babysitters will do, they will look after your doggos, feed them, walk them, or even bathe them if you’re going to be gone for long. Some would ask a friend to do this while there are also centers where you can send the dog for the day while you’re at work.
Remember that a dog sitter is different than a dog walker. A dog walker only takes your pooch to a stroll and then hands it back to you. In the case of pet sitters, they are responsible for the well-being of the doggo while you’re away.
Dog boarding can be a good choice if you’re going to be away for days. Meanwhile, pet sitting can be done in your own home so the dog won’t feel indifferent being in a new environment.
Why hire a pet sitter in the first place? Here’s why:
In-home pet sitting vs. dog boarding
Both of these are beneficial for owners who need to go out of town. However, not all dogs will thrive in both services. We have to consider the behavior of the doggo and how it reacts to a foreign environment.
In-home pet sitting
In-home pet sitting services include a pet sitter looking after your dog in your own home. This way, your pooch stays within its territory. Pet sitters may perform simple tasks like feeding, elimination, walking. For some services, the pet sitter can stay in the house overnight if the owner will be away.
This method of caring for your dog eliminates the possible stress of adapting to a new environment. Although the pooch can still experience stress in the absence of its owner, a companion can reduce the anxiety.
Another indirect benefit of in-home pet sitting is that the pet sitter also gets to oversee your home. You can ask them the favor to receive packages or mail. And since someone is at your home, your house is less likely to be burglarized.
A downside to in-home pet sitting is that feeding the pet sitter will increase the overall cost of the service. Nevertheless, this is just a small thing with the added benefits.
Some owners prefer dog boarding for a variety of reasons. First, there are already pet hotels that will pamper dogs. Also, you can opt for a dog boarding service in a veterinary clinic if you have to be away and your dog has health issues.
Gone are the days when dog boarding includes isolating your pooch behind steel bars and cold concrete floors. If you’re not comfortable having a stranger staying inside your house, you can opt for this service.
Just take note that the main problem about dog boarding is the stress it can bring to some pooches. There are dogs that can adapt to different environments while there are some that are too aloof to mingle.
Benefits of using a pet sitter
When we go to work or do long drives out of town, we feel worried about leaving our dog behind. The little pooches get heartsick too and you’ll likely go home with an angry neighbor after your doggo spent the whole day vocalizing. This will put you in trouble.
Pet sitters can save the day by being your dog’s companion when you’re not around. Here are some of the benefits of hiring one:
For the pawrent
Peace of mind that your doggo is in good hands
No need to obligate a friend, family member, or neighbor
Additional security for your home during in-home pet sitting services
Guarantee that the person in charge of your dog can feed, groom, and transport your pet if necessary
Professional care if your dog has a special condition
For the doggo
Less anxiety and destructive behavior
In-home pet sitting keeps them at their comfort zone
Good health, on-time feeding, elimination, and enough exercise
Enough play time
Exclusive attention for medical conditions
Companionship and love
As much as pet sitting is beneficial, it also comes with a certain fee. The cost of this service varies wildly from agency to agency. Usually, the cost will be higher if the sitter will stay overnight and will be required to perform more tasks.
Just make sure that your dog is fit for any of the pet sitting services you’ll avail.
Some disadvantages of pet sitting
Pet sitting also comes with a few disadvantages. Make sure that you look into these points before letting another person watch over your dog.
You’re letting a stranger into your home. As much as pet sitters can be accredited by certain agencies, it’s a bit uncomfortable to let a stranger stay inside your home. You need to choose the right person that won’t just treat your dog right but someone who will respect your space.
Your dog is still stressed. There’s nothing we can do about this. Since you’ll be separated from your pooch, anxiety is inevitable. The consolation is that this can be dampened with companionship.
Your dog may react differently. Does your dog have a history of aggression toward strangers? If this is the case, it would be difficult to leave the pooch alone with a pet sitter.
Responsibilities of a pet sitter
Pet sitters don’t just sit around and watch your dog. They are tasked to perform feeding, elimination, walking, and other responsibilities that will foster the well-being of the pet. Basically, the responsibility of the pet sitter will vary on the arrangement.
Here are some of the usual things pet sitters do:
Walking the dog and facilitating play time
Feeding the dog and following its suggested diet
Administering medications as necessary
Cleaning up and supervising elimination based on how the dog is housebroken.
Grooming if necessary
Providing lots of love and attention
If you’re availing in-home pet sitting services, the sitter can also collect your newspaper, mail, and packages. Some pet owners also request pet sitters to alternate blinds and lights to make it appear that the house is occupied. You can also let the pet sitter answer phone calls.
What to consider before hiring a pet sitter
Pet sitters aren’t just people who love being around dogs. Dog sitters have to undergo training to ensure that they can handle canines with different behaviors and in different conditions.
Professional pet sitters have to work hard and practice dog handling before they can accept the job. Otherwise, it would be disastrous for the pet owner, the dog, and the sitter.
Here are some of the things you should consider before hiring:
Qualifications. Interview the candidate first so you’ll know about their training and experience in pet sitting. Ask about specific training they underwent, type of pets they’ve handled before, and special skills that your dog will need.
Insurance. Don’t hire just anybody! Look for professional pet sitters that are insured in the event of accidents and bonded to protect your assets against theft. The latter is very important for in-home pet sitting.
Communication. A pet sitter should know how to take daily notes of your pet’s eating habit, activities, and the likes. Also, both of you should have a stable means of communication. Daily text messages and photos would be excellent.
Referrals. If you’re a bit skeptic with pet sitters, you can ask friends and families. They may know a trustworthy pet sitter that you can also hire.
Fees. Pet sitting costs vary so make sure that you ask about this first. The overall cost shouldn’t break your bank.
Cost of dog sitting services
Again, this depends on the pet sitter or the agency where you’ll source the person. For example in Come-Sit-Stay, a company providing pet sitting services, they charge $68 per night for overnight stays for up to five days with a single pet. On the sixth day onward, you’ll save $5 per night. Meanwhile, CostHelper.com estimates pet sitter rates to be around $50 to $75 per night.
If you’re not going away for long, pet sitting costs can be calculated per hour. In Come-Sit-Stay, you will pay $32 for one hour, $15 for 15 minutes, $20 for 20 minutes, and $26 for 45 minutes. That’s for a single pet alone.
There are more pet sitting services that offer different rates and inclusions. For example, the Furs for Us center offer pet shopping aside from the usual pet sitting service. They will charge $25 per hour for shopping for dog food, grooming accessories, and other supplies.
As for dog boarding, the cost will skyrocket, especially if you sent your pooch to a dog hotel. For regular kennel dog boarding services, you’ll be charged around $25 to $45 per night. This is way cheaper, but it’s important to note that many doggos are stressed in this condition.
Centers where you can hire pet sitters
If you’re looking for a pet sitter, you can scout your choice on the following centers. These are just some of the popular options in the doggo community:
PetSitUSA offers dog sitting, dog daycare, dog walking, and dog running services. They send professional pet sitters to your home to accompany your dog. They service many cities and municipalities all over the USA. You can easily locate a pet sitter in your area by entering your zip code or state/city. However, they don’t cover all states.
Always peruse the candidate you’ll choose to ensure that the pet sitter is trustworthy. PetSitUSA has a hiring checklist that you can refer to. https://www.petsitusa.com/articles/owner-resources/petsitter-hiring-checklist
Over 14 million users have trusted PetSitter all over the US and Canada. They have a directory of pet sites with profiles that you access directly. You can also filter the results as individual or agency providers. There are also filters for services offered, pay rates, type of pet, and so on.
You can also post a pet sitting job if you want pet sitters to apply for the job instead of scheming through dozens of profiles. From Florida to Washington and California to Maine, they have pet sitters that you can contact.
Furs for Us
If you live in Connecticut, specifically in Wolcott, Bristol, Thomaston, Pequabuck, Terryville, and Plymouth, the Furs for Us is your local pet sitting provider. They offer pet sitting visits which will last for 30 minutes each time. This is enough to feed your dog, collect your mail, turn the lights on and off, and other small tasks.
Furs for Us can also shop for dog supplies in case it runs out while you’re away. The pricing depends on the arrangements with the pet sitter.
From a short 15-minute pet sitting to overnight stays, Come-Sit-Stay has you covered. The good thing about their service is you can choose an ala carte mode of additional hours. They service the Minneapolis area.
Instead of utilizing a directory of pet sitters, they keep a team so you’re assured of their trustworthiness. They also run promos like Happy Hour, Word of Snout, and Punch Card that have different discounts and special inclusions.
Fetch! Pet Care
The Fetch! Pet Care offers up to 60 minutes of pet setting visits. For longer arrangements, they offer the “Almost Overnight” pet sitting with extended visits at night and in the morning. If you want, you can avail of their dog boarding services too. For peace of mind, their overnight in-home pet sitting will last for 12 hours with the utmost attention to your dog.
What do you think of pet sitting services? Have you ever hired a pet sitter before? Share your experiences with us!