When holiday plans for your pet's care come up, you may think friends, family, and neighbours are the best option. Not always so. We explore reasons why it's better to hire a professional Pet Sitter instead.
What is the difference when hiring a Professional Pet Sitter, House Sitter, or Dog Walker? We go through several reasons why you should only ever hire a Professional House Sitter, Pet Sitter, or Dog Walker through a Pet Care network.
1. Bookings with Professional Pet Sitters who are part of a network, have insurance
Public Liability Insurance insures for negligence of the Pet Sitter or Dog Walker. What would be the impact on you during your holiday or business trip if you received a phone call that your pet swallowed an object and required internal surgery to dislodge it?
Or that a Pet Sitter had accidentally left their gate open and your dog was hit by a car and required Emergency Veterinary treatment and the bill is looking like it's close to $16,000.
It would be emotionally stressful, but also financially stressful. Most people don't have that sort of money available at short notice. There is always the small chance of something unforeseen going wrong when caring for any animal. Booking a Pet Sitter through PetCloud will ensure that your pet's Emergency Vet Bills will be covered for these sort of events.
Professional Pet Sitters are also trained in animal care and first aid. This means your pet is in good hands, capable of responding properly should something go wrong. You also don’t have to deal with relationship fall out if one of your friends is responsible for something bad happening because they didnt have insurance or a support network to help them resolve the issue.
2. Professional Pet Sitters can spot warning signs if your pet needs veterinary attention.
They are experienced in understanding what is normal behaviour for pets versus behaviour such as;
- Odd eating habits.
- Excessive thirst.
- Rough or dry coat.
- Unusual stool.
- Sudden weight loss.
- Cloudy or red eyes.
- Scooting or dragging rear
- Emergency symptoms
3. Professional Pet Sitters are trained in Animal Welfare standards
Professional Pet Sitters are trained by a recognised industry pet care course. They are experienced in working with all types of pet types, breeds, and temporaments and will know how to tailor your pet’s care based on their unique likes, triggers, fears, and habits. PetCloud's Pet Sitter's and Dog Walkers uphold the Animal Welfare 5 Freedoms that are internationally accepted standards of pet care that affirm every living being's right to humane treatment which are:
- Freedom from hunger and thirst.
- Freedom from discomfort.
- Freedom from pain, injury and disease.
- Freedom to express normal behaviours.
- Freedom from fear and distress.
4. Professional Pet Sitters and House Sitters have a support network (such as PetCloud) in case of illness, emergencies, car troubles.
Professional Pet Sitters will be reliable, however, unforeseen events have to be catered for if they do occur. Being part of a network means another Sitter can be called upon to fulfill the booking if an emergency arises. They respect your home and don't ask a relative, friend, or neighbour to fill in for them and stay in your home. They arrange for another Professional Police checked Sitter from the network to fill in for them if illness arises and they inform the pet care network.
5. Professional Pet Sitters are Police Checked
Pet care networks such as PetCloud display Digital badges that show what verifications and qualifications Sitters have obtained.
6. They are experienced in administering medications.
They won't take it upon themselves to differ your pet's medication. They may know how to administer oral medication or injections (we recommend our Vet Nurse Pet Sitters are booked for this, you can identify them with their Vet Nurse checked badge).
7. Professional Pet Sitters will Always have a Meet & Greet in Advance of the Stay
Experienced Professional Pet Sitters will always ask for a Meet & Greet beforehand to give you a walk through property tour so that together, you can take joint responsibility for ensuring that their property escape-proof and hazard-free. Next, they will ask you questions about your pet's diet, exercise routine, parasite control, and any medication requirements.
8. Professional Pet Sitters know how to spot and avoid potentially dangerous situations.
Experienced Professional Sitters will react calmly, quickly, and effectively and will never take your dog to an offleash dog park as they are hot spots for fights breaking out. They will avoid pack walking. They will avoid walking your dog in the heat of the day to prevent heatstroke or burnt paws. They know not to exert Senior or brachycephalic breed dogs. They will never leave your dog tied up outside a shop, even if its to duck in for 2 minutes. They will never leave your dog in the car. They are resourceful in solving animal behaviour related problems. For example, if during a meet and greet, two pets got along, but then during the stay the pets didn't, then they don't ring you on your holiday asking what to do every 5 minutes, instead, they take initiative to problem solve and separate the pets in a sensible way by creating barricade of some sort - leaving you to relax and be worry-free on your holiday.
9. Booking Professional Pet Sitters through a Pet Care network means a written legal agreement is in place
When you make a booking with a Professional Pet Sitter through a Pet Care network online, it's a service that's paid for, you have a written legal agreement for a booked service in place. To do this with friends and family and neighbours when it's a favour - doesn’t feel right, and can strain the friendship, so we often tend to take what we get. Not really the best situation for our pets if they have any special needs such as food allergies or medical needs that need attending to.
10. There’s no imposing on anyone’s schedule
Sometimes, we know that many of our close friends network are already busy or have other duties. This can make you feel like you are imposing on their schedule or like you owe them something in return when you ask them to look after our pet feel.
11. Professional Pet Sitters are genuine Animal Lovers
A pet sitter cares for your pet in their home to your exact needs as it's their job to do so but its more because they just love pets and it doesn't feel like a job to them. So we find that pet sitters often go the extra mile because they want to.
12. Professional Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers don't expect favours in return
Family members or friends may expect a favour in return, such as helping them move house.
13. Professional Sitters have Public Accountability
Feedback is able to be published publicly on the Pet Sitter's listing after the booking is complete when they are part of a Pet care Network such as PetCloud. This means every customer has a voice and every pet booking has quality assurance and feedback. This keeps everyone focused on two important things – great service and ensuring pets are looked after very well. Family members may not be reliable and there sure isn't any public feedback system for them. Professional Pet Sitters strive to make your experience great, as opposed to perhaps a neighbour who may just throw some food over the fence. Sitters must actively work on building and maintaining trust if they want to attract new Pet Owner customers, and keep relationships with existing customers, in order to drive them to make repeat bookings.
14. You don't have to beg.
Contrast this with what many of us do when we beg our friends and family to step in for us. Most of us simply don’t like to trouble them with the hassle, especially if they need to come to our home, or if our friends and family don’t have houses that are pet-friendly.
Some family members may not care whether you have a special weekend booked away - if they're not animal lovers - they aren't interested.
Next trip away, think professional pet sitting first
So be sure to think of pet sitting as a pet care option the next time you have to be at a special occasion or need to leave the house for a day, a week, or even a month without your pet.
You can even contact your local pet sitter for other services like dog walking, house visits to feed your various pets, washing and brushing, and make sure they're taken care of in their own home.
Join PetCloud free today and we can help you find Sitters who would love to completely spoil your pets!
Book a Pet Sitter at PetCloud while you're away!