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The Best Pet Sitting Company Ever

Perfect Pet Sitter We’d be willing to bet that each and every pet parent intends to hire the absolute best pet sitting company ever! 

Here’s our (possibly biased, but very well thought out and heart felt) opinions on what makes a pet sitting company amazing, complete with our recommendations on how to pin one down for yourself:

Bonded and Insured

It goes without saying: You want your pet sitter to be bonded and insured. If you are surfing websites of companies that you are considering, be sure that this information is front and center on their page. Do not confused “bonded and insured” with “licensed” — some pet sitters claim that they are licensed, but that is not all-inclusive and generally does not reflect on whether or not they carry appropriate liability coverage.

Strong Online Presence

This piggy-backs off of the previous suggestion. You want your pet sitters to be on the web. Look for a website that presents itself in a professional manner. Spend time reading their website. You are making in investment in your pet’s care, which directly effects your pet’s and your own quality of life. Does the website introduce the pet sitters to you, or only the owner? Does it address professional credentials and affiliations? What about their services? Do they make you WANT to use them and are you excited to contact them? Listen to your gut. If you aren’t drawn in, write down their name, and keep looking. While you’re at it, take a peek at their social media. See what they’re up to and if they seem to represent themselves well on the casual social media platforms.

Employee-based or Independent Contractors?

Above, we mentioned reading the company’s “about us” page to learn about the actual person or team that will be providing the services. You will be remiss if you don’t find this out about your pet sitters in advance. If you don’t know this already, take notes now: some pet sitting companies hire employees, but some pet sitting companies use independent contracts and send pet sitting assignments to them. A company that uses employees is able to be involved with every aspect of the employee’s job — what this means to you as a pet parent is that they function as a connected team. Pet sitting companies must pay for their employee’s liability coverage, unemployment, workman’s compensation policy, and not to mention taxes; they won’t just hire anyone. You can bet employees are fully vetted because employers are legally allowed to do this.

On the other hand, some pet sitting companies outsource their clients to independent contractors (ICs). While this could be a great option for the company itself, it is you, the pet parents, that should be sure to do your research. If you find out the company that you’re considering uses independent contractors, ask if you’ll get to meet your sitter at the meet and greet consultation. Sometimes the business owner comes to the consultation, but is not the person that will performing your pet sit. Again: you just want to know who will be taking care of your pets. If it’s an IC, then you just need to know that. By law, true ICs are required to have a business of their own that is their primary source of income. In other words, if the name of the company you initially contact is “World’s Best Pet Sitting”  and they use independent contractors, your dog or cat may actually be cared for by “Pet Sitters At Your Service” — those names were merely examples, but just meant to demonstrate what happens when the company you hire uses ICs . There are a lot of regulations when it comes to a business’s relationship with contractors. For example, World’s Best Pet Sitting is not allowed to train the IC they decide to use. Their ICs are not required to abide by their policies, since they have their own. The only thing that World’s Best can indicate to the contractor is what your wishes are as a client. If you have specific requests, be sure to list them out exactly, as information from you is the only information the IC may be given.

Force Free

Perfect Pair Animal Care This one is close to our hearts. In short, force free professionals are dedicated to building and maintaining a relationship with your pet that always keeps your animal’s best interest in mind. This includes, but is not limited to, never causing any pain to your animal via force-based punishment — including the refusal to use prong, choke, shock, electric, and/or stimulation collars. Those types of devices should not be in your pet sitter’s tool kit. If the company you are considering openly admits to finding those methods acceptable, and/or if you see photos of pets on their website in aversive collars, look elsewhere. Do not settle for a company that finds a punishment-based relationship with your pet to be acceptable. It is not.
Tip: search for a force free pet care professional here

Full time, 365

Last but not least, you’ll want to know if your pet sitting company is operational on a full time basis. Some sitters work full time jobs and pet sit during their off-times. This does not disqualify them from being a potentially amazing pet sitter, but it is advantageous of you to ask. If you anticipate regularly using the services of that company — it’s in your best interest to know their general availability. It also doesn’t hurt to ask about holidays. Believe it or not, some companies close down during holidays, so just be sure to ask the right questions for the right type of service you’re seeking!

We realize that this has left you with a lot to consider, but this is your best friend we’re talking about! We sincerely hope that this helps you find the best pet sitting company ever.
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