The holidays are fast approaching which means dog owners will be looking for dog-sitters to watch over their furry family members.
But, before you hand over the keys to your kingdom (and K9s), make sure you know exactly what you (and your dog) are getting into! Don’t leave this important decision to the very last minute, you could come to regret it.
Below are some 8 due diligence tips you MUST do first:
- Did the potential sitter come recommended by a friend or family member? Great! STILL get testimonials from other previous clients.
- Always set up a face-to-face meeting with you AND your dog to make sure you both feel at ease with the potential dog-sitter. Make sure you’re meeting the actual dog-sitter, not just the owner of the dog-sitting business.
- Are they acting in a professional manner? Do they offer you a contract that spells out exactly what they will do … and what they need from you as well? Are they are asking specific questions about the kind of care you’re seeking and making notes?
- Do a trial run; have the potential sitter watch your dog for several hours or a day (at least once or twice) before you leave for an extended period of time. Notice how your dog acts/reacts around them; these are all clues about what you – and your dog – can expect.
- Do they have the appropriate insurance or bonding to protect you and your property?
- Do they have current First Aid certification? Ask to see it. Remember, you’re relying on them to protect your dog especially if something unforeseen happens.
- Ask about any specializations they offer … do they specialize in small breeds? Big or giant breeds? It makes a huge difference with their comfort level and how well they can deal with your specific dog.
- Does your dog have special needs? Make sure the person you’re looking to hire can comfortably handle those special requests (giving medication or shots, dealing with an arthritic/fearful/blind or deaf dog, etc.).
By taking the time to find and get comfortable with a potential dog-sitter, you will increase the chances of a pleasant and successful experience of bringing a caretaker into your home and your dog’s life.
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