Summer is right around the corner, and blooms are lighting up our neighborhoods in Chesterton and Valparaiso. As schools let out for summer break, you’re likely dreaming of a much-needed vacation. If so, you will want to book a qualified, experienced an caring dog sitter. However, it can feel challenging to find and select the best dog sitting service–And the last thing you want to do is leave home without peace of mind that your pup is receiving compassionate care.
As you research dog sitting services, don’t fret. Rover’s Recess has you covered. Here’s what you need to know to choose the best dog sitting service for your dog’s needs.
Where Can You Find a Dog Sitter That’s Trustworthy & Qualified?
All it takes is a quick Google search to find a wide array of pet sitters in the area. You will find a handful of local dog sitting businesses, nationwide app-based services, other ‘big-box’ sitting companies, and boarding facilities However, not all dog sitting services are created equal.
Comparing Pet Sitting Service Types
When searching for a dog sitter, begin by eliminating choices that won’t work for your dog. Here’s what you need to know when comparing types of dog sitters in the area:
App-based dog sitting and large national companies: These services offer walks and in-home sitting. Most of their sitters, however, are not vetted, drug-tested, or trained in person. And these apps do not stand behind their sitter when it comes to liability. Furthermore, most app-based sitters lack a history of experience and cannot administer medications.
If you would feel more comfortable with a sitter that has been trained and is less ‘anonymous,’ you will want to eliminate this as a choice.
Local dog walking and pet sitting services: Local businesses are often a better choice for pet sitting since these professionals have established good reputations in the area. Most offer in-home pet sitting and have local references, which can give you peace of mind and allow your dog to stay in their own comfortable and familiar environment. Additionally, when you hire a local business, you’re keeping your money within our community.
Local boarding facilities: Boarding your dog at a local vet or boarding business can be a great option for pets that need 24/7 care. Just keep in mind that most boarding facilities can leave dogs stressed in response to the noise and most facilities do not offer more than a couple of short walks per day. This can leave energetic dogs restless and nervous dogs frightened.
Boarding can also become quite costly. Dog boarding is often more expensive than in-home dog sitting services, especially when you have a multi-dog household.
How to Choose the Best Local Dog Sitter
As you narrow down your choices in local pet sitting services, you may still feel confused when comparing companies. These steps can help to ensure you’re hiring the best dog sitter:
1. Make a list of your dog’s needs and any questions you want to ask.
As you prepare to contact dog sitters, write down any specific needs or personality traits your dog or dogs have. These can include:
- Needing medication
- Struggling with separation anxiety
- Special diet
- Frequently having indoor bathroom accidents
Questions you may want to ask a potential dog sitter include:
- How long have you been serving our area?
- Do you have experience administering medication?
- What does the average visit include?
- How many dogs can you watch at one time?
- Are you insured and bonded?
- If my dog has an accident, are you able to clean it up?
- How often are you able to visit and for how long?
- Can you provide me with references?
- Are you able to meet my dog before our trip?
- How do you verify that you arrived?
- Do you have availability for the dates I will be out of town?
2. Chat with the dog sitter over the phone.
Just like every dog has their own personality, so do dog sitters. A quick phone call will give you deeper insight into a sitter’s personality and qualifications. Take notes as you chat and ask any questions that may come up.
3. Schedule a meet and greet with your potential dog sitter
Set up an appointment for your potential dog sitter to meet your dog. Not only will this give you an idea of how they interact with your dog, but you can assess how your dog’s personality jives with the sitter’s.
Note your first impressions of the sitter and if they give you the information you need to feel confident in their services. Look for indications that they are experienced.
Signs to look for–A qualified and responsible pet sitter will:
- Arrive on time with all necessary supplies
- Record information about your pet, including their veterinary information.
- Ask about your trip plans, including what time of day you are leaving and returning
- Interact safely with your dog
Take notes on what you liked about the sitter.
Often with pet sitters, it’s a case of “when you know, you know.” So, if you feel like your dog was head-over-paws enthusiastic about a sitter and you feel confident in the sitter’s professionalism, you may want to go ahead and book your vacation dates.
4. Consider scheduling a walking session or daytime visit.
Arrange a ‘test run’ with your potential dog sitter by setting up a drop-in visit or a walk. This allows your dog to get to know their sitter and gives you even greater insight into the sitter’s procedure. Along with getting to know your sitter, this will also give you serenity while you’re away.
5. Reflect on the visit and review your notes, then book.
After the meet and greet and test run, compare dog sitting services side-by-side. Be sure to include what their services include and other details you feel will work best for your dog.
Schedule the Best Local Summer Dog Sitting Service
Your dog deserves the best. Choose a local dog sitting service that understands how to provide for all of your pup’s needs. You’ll gain peace of mind and your dog’s staycation will be filled with fun, relaxation, and everything in between.
The top dog sitters’ schedules fill up fast. So don’t wait to book your summer dog sitting service. Rover’s Recess has provided the best dog sitters in the Valparaiso and Chesterton area since 2007. Our services are in high demand as local families make their travel plans. Contact us today to learn more about how we can keep your dog safe, happy, and healthy while you’re away!