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Looking For An Experienced Pet Sitter? Three Important Questions To Ask

pet sitting montgomery county mdDon’t forget to ask these important questions when you’re trying to decide on which professional pet sitter or professional dog walker would be best for you:

  1. How many years have you been pet sitting professionally?
    This doesn’t mean how long since the first time you ever pet sat for someone. This means what it says: how long have you been pet sitting professionally, either working for yourself or someone else? If you are truly looking to hire a pet sitting professional, the answer to this question should be very revealing.
  2. How would you handle an emergency in my home?
    Find out what your pet sitter knows about general household care. Do they ask you where the water shut-off valve is? During the meet and greet, do they ask you to show them where your circuit breaker is? Ask them straight up, “What would you do if you walked into our house one day and the main level was covered in water?” or “What happens if a window is broken when you pull up to our home for a visit?”You want the person that is going to be in your home daily (if not sleeping/living there!), to have a basic understanding of how things work in a household. It’s OK if they’ve never been a homeowner, but they should have common sense and know how to answer your questions about real problems that are known to sneak up…. “When the homeowner is away, Murphy will play!”
  3. What is your procedure on bringing new people along or sending someone in your place?
    From what it appears on the outside, Jane of Jane’s Pet Sitting and Dog Walking will be your pet sitter. She’s the one who has replied to your emails and she was the one who attended the meet and greet in your home. But, did you ask her if she’ll be the one doing all of the pet sitting? Do not leave this page unturned.

    Jane’s Pet Sitting may be comprised of employees or independent contractors, i.e.; staff, that does the bulk of the visits for the company. Just because you met one person doesn’t mean they’ll be the one doing the work. You won’t know until you ask!It’s also possible that Jane herself does most of the visits except if she’s overbooked or has a back up help her out once in a while. All you gotta do is ask her what the procedure is. If she has anyone helping her, whether it be her own staff or incidental fill-ins, what’s her policy? Does she inform you if someone other than her will be there? If so, does she tell you before or after?

Remember: this is your home and your animal(s). 

If you are uncomfortable with any of the answers you received to the above questions, put your decision on hold. Decide whether you would feel better if they elaborated more (you can ask follow up questions and revisit any subject that left you uncertain) or perhaps you will decide that you and this pet sitting/dog walking company just aren’t a good fit for one another.

If you’re doing what we suggest and are picking out a professional way before you need one, you should have plenty of time to make this decision without feeling rushed or hurried.

Take your time —you’re looking for someone to build a long lasting relationship with. It’s worth the effort to find an experienced pet sitter!

Note: Most pet sitting companies proudly display the badges of the many professional affiliations that they are members in good standing of. While we think that it is very important for your pet sitter to have at least one professional membership, it is important to know that these affiliations aren’t necessarily a gauge of the standards that your pet sitter may/may not have. To our knowledge, the majority of national pet sitting organizations do not have a selective membership process and do not screen their applicants in depth. The only organization that we know of that has strict membership requirements is The Pet Professional Guild.

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