Owning a pet is one of the most rewarding experiences. In many ways, their presence can change your life and make it a whole lot better.
While we all love our pets, there are times when we have to leave our little companions at home due to work-related trips or other engagements. Leaving your pet behind is always a stressful experience. In moments like these, we need a qualified adult who can care for our pets in the best way possible in our absence. Professional pet sitters are the wonderful people who can do that for us!
The first week of March marks Professional Pet Sitter’s Week. We decided to take this as an opportunity to dedicate this article in honor of pet sitters globally and teach the public about the benefits of hiring professional pet care providers.
There are many options for making sure your dog or cat is well taken care of when you are not there. You can ask your friends and family, take your pet to a kennel, or browse apps. But knowing which option is the best for you and your pet is not always easy.
In this article, we will review the differences between a professional pet sitter or dog walker versus an app sitter. Since the choice you make will primarily affect your pet, it is important that you consider the pros and cons of both types of services before making a decision. Taking the right safety and care considerations is part of being a responsible dog owner.
Professional Pet Sitter Versus an App Sitter
Pros of Hiring a Professional Pet Sitter
There are many pros to hiring a professional pet sitter with one of the main ones being that you can be sure your sitter is experienced, trained, and prepared for any type of situation.
They are better qualified to ensure an animal’s safety since they have made pet care their career of choice by spending time, money, and energy in learning the best ways to take care of animals. They also have proper training in CPR and Pet First aid. In addition, pet care professionals are insured and bonded. With these qualifications, you can rest at ease while your pet is taken care of.
Furthermore, pet sitting professionals go through a specific hiring process after which they are selected by a local business to work for them. This means they are checked to see whether they fit the proper requirements for providing quality services. In addition to that, pro pet sitters often cultivate a relationship with the animals under their care. They go above and beyond with your pet and form a connection with them that makes your pet feel at ease.
You will have more peace of mind with a professional pet sitter, especially if you are looking for a long-term professional relationship. With a professional sitter, you get consistency, quality, stability, and comfort.
Cons of Hiring a Professional Pet Sitter
Possibly the most notable con of hiring a professional sitter is the higher price associated with their services. They are a little more on the expensive side because they offer personalized services that accommodate you and your pet’s needs.
In addition, the process of hiring a professional sitter is usually longer than that for an app sitter. However, this lengthy process ensures that your pet is comfortable with the sitter you choose.
Pros of an App Pet Sitter
The biggest pro of hiring a sitter from an app – and possibly the primary reason why people opt for them – is the price. Pet sitting apps are comparatively affordable and fit many people’s budgets. Moreover, people find apps to be more convenient. They can hire a pet sitter with the touch of a finger.
Cons of an App Pet Sitter
The cons of a pet sitter app outweigh its pros for many people.
For one, the lower price associated with pet apps result in the coverage of only basic services. An app sitter likely won’t go above and beyond in caring for your pet like a pro would do.
Pet sitters are often not as educated or experienced in pet sitting and any pet emergencies as professional sitters. When you hire an app sitter, there is a chance that they do not have the experience of knowing how to handle an unexpected situation. This can prove to be dangerous for your pet’s health and safety. Pet apps also don’t have their workers insured and bonded as they work with independent contractors.
With a pet sitting app, you get a new sitter every time. This often results in your pet feeling uncomfortable with a different person every single time. In the end, the trust and reliability you get from a professional sitter are simply not there with app sitters.
How Hiring a Professional Pet Sitter Benefits Your Pets
Mobile applications have gained popularity in the pet care industry. These online pet care startups are marketed as super convenient and often cheaper than a professional pet sitter.
While many of these companies have aesthetically pleasing apps, there is still a lot left to be desired in terms of the care they can provide. Hiring a professionally trained and experienced pet sitter benefits not only you but your pets and their well-being.
Here are a few reasons why you should opt for a professional pet sitter over pet-sitting apps.
1. Professional Sitters are Trained and Certified
One of the biggest reasons to hire a pet care professional is just that – they are professionals. They genuinely love animals and are committed full-time to the pet care business because they have a passion for it.
Becoming a professional requires an investment in training, insurance, proper equipment, and oftentimes, certifications. For this reason, they are able to provide the highest quality care to animals.
Most animal care professionals gain years of experience before they start their own pet care business. This means that if you choose to work with a local business, you are essentially working with trained professionals with years of experience.
Not just that, there are many legal requirements that come with starting a professional pet sitting business. When you hire a professional from these businesses, you get a sitter that is insured and bonded by an insurance entity. All of this translates to better safety, trust, and reliability.
2. You Will Likely Get a Long-Term Sitter
When you work with a professional pet sitting company, they will likely appoint the same sitter – or team of sitters – to take care of your pet instead of sending a new person to your house every time. This develops a relationship between the sitter and your pet which helps put your pet at ease. In addition, it is safer and builds a sense of comfort for your animal because the sitter becomes familiar with your pet’s behavior and personality.
3. Their Services are Personalized for You and Your Pets
A professional sitter is able to provide services suited specifically for your pet’s needs. Maybe your pet has specific dietary requirements. Or maybe they only walk one particular route and no other. It could be anything. Most pet care professionals will be able to build custom pet care plans based on those needs.
4. You Support a Local Independent Business
Hiring from a local independent pet care business helps support your community. It also ensures that similar services will be available for other pet parents in the area as well. When you hire an app sitter, a big chunk of your money might not go to the actual pet sitter themselves but rather the conglomerate that they work for.
When you appoint someone else to take care of your pet, being able to stay in touch with that person is hugely important. Here, you don’t want to go through an app to finally talk with your sitter. With a pet care business, you are in direct contact with your pet care professional through the use of a good old-fashioned phone call. You don’t have to go through a call center.
In addition, your pet care professional will be the person responsible for the well-being of your pet. The same cannot be said about massive companies, where it’s easy to pass on the responsibility to someone else until it eventually disappears.
6. Pet Sitting is Their Primary Profession, Not a Side Gig
With the growing culture of side hustles, more and more people are taking up dog walking or pet sitting as a side gig to make some extra income. There is nothing wrong with that. But just because a person has pets themselves does not mean they are qualified to care for another individual’s pet, too. It is always preferred to hire someone with a genuine passion for pet care who has done a lot more than just answer a few questions on an app.
Qualities of a Great Pet Sitter
It goes without saying that the person who watches your pet needs to be a top-notch caregiver. Below, we have mentioned a few qualities that every top-of-the-line pet sitter would have.
- They love pets. A great pet sitter is one who loves their job. They may not necessarily be pet owners themselves but they adore animals and it shows. It’s easy to spot a pet lover because they light up as soon as they are around animals.
- They are well-educated about pets and their needs. A pet sitter needs to be well-educated about the different pet breeds and their needs and wants. They should also be aware of any animal resources that are available in your area, such as vet clinics, pet-friendly parks, and pet stores.
- They are prepared for emergencies. A good pet sitter knows that pet sitting isn’t just about showing up, and feeding and walking your pet. A big part of being a top-notch sitter is having a plan of action in place for what to do in emergencies. For instance, what if your pet runs away? What if they get sick? A pet sitter should know who to call and where to go in these instances.
- They respect your wishes. A pet sitter respects your care plan for your pet. They keep your wishes at the forefront while watching your pet.
- They are insured. A pet sitter who takes pet sitting seriously and treats it like a profession is going to take the time to get insured. They are aware that things can happen beyond their control and they are prepared for it.
- They are experienced. Having many clients isn’t the only way to determine whether a pet sitter is experienced or not. It also depends on your sitter’s willingness to provide you with references. Even if your pet sitter only has a few clients they can refer to, if they are long-term happy customers, that speaks well to their credibility.
- They make communication a priority. As a pet parent who has to be away from their pet, it is only understandable that you want frequent updates on how your pet is doing. Good pet sitters understand this. They put your heart at ease by remaining in touch, either by texting or calling, while they watch your pet.
- Your pet loves them. It is good practice to go with a pet sitter that has great chemistry with your pet. This is why it is important to interview pet sitters first before you hire them. Let them meet your pet and watch how that interaction pans out.
Things to Ask Your Pet Sitter
Before hiring a pet sitter, make sure you are covered on all fronts by inquiring about the things mentioned below:
- Ask them about the type of training they have accomplished (pet First Aid, CPR, etc.).
- Make sure they will come to your house before you leave to meet with you and your pet/pets.
- Establish how your pet sitter would reach out to you while you are gone. Would it be via email, a phone call, or text?
- Ask them about any services they may be able to provide, such as receiving your mail and packages, or light rotation.
Hire a Pro Today!
Leaving your pet at home while you are away can cause anxiety for anyone and finding someone you can trust is a tough decision. Once you find the right professional sitter for your pet, you can avoid the headaches of hiring a new one every single time.
At Rover’s Recess, we make sure that you find the best professional sitter for your pet and avoid any future headaches of hiring a new sitter every time. Our staff is insured, bonded, and CPR and First Aid certified to ensure your pet stays safe and sound in our care.
Save yourself the time and hassle of dealing with the inconvenience of casual sitters by contacting us today to put your trust in someone who has made pet care their profession.