Is your pet sitter a professional or a “hobby pet sitter?”
What’s the difference? And why is this important?
In today’s blog post, I want to go over 3 important things you should know before you hire a hobby pet sitter, a.k.a. the neighborhood kid or one of the many people on Rover.com to care for your pet. When it comes to pet sitting, it’s important to know exactly who you’re hiring, as this is the person you’ll be giving direct access to both your pets and home. A lot of times, many first time clients ask themselves:
Can I really trust this person to care for my pet the way I would?
Since they’ll be coming into my home, will they respect my privacy?
Or will they even show up?
These and many other questions come into a client’s mind, making pet sitting a trust-based business. So having that said, how do you ensure you hire the right person for the job? Caring for someone’s pets is hard work, takes time and responsibility, and therefore it is not something that should be taken lightly. So before you save $10 bucks a day to have the neighborhood kid come in and check on Fido, here are 3 important things to consider about hobby pet sitters:
They Are Most Likely Not Insured
People who look after other people’s pets in their spare time probably don’t carry their own liability insurance. And why would they if this isn’t a full-time job for them?
Why It's Important
Liability insurance is important in the pet sitting industry because it protects your pets and your home from accidental damages while under your sitter’s care. Animals are unpredictable and accidents can sometimes happen, so it’s important to be protected. This goes for yourself, your pets, your home and your pet sitter.
They’re Not Running A Business (So Pet Sitting Isn’t A Priority For Them)
The neighborhood kid has football practice, you might impose if you ask your friends or neighbors, and the lovely gal on Rover has a family to look after.
Where do your pets fit in?
Hiring someone who doesn’t officially own a business means they might not make your pets their top priority. It’s not their livelihood, so you can’t be sure they’ll really take it that seriously.
Why It's Important
By hiring someone who is running an actual business, you can get peace of mind knowing this is something they specialize and are dedicated in, and will make your pet’s safety and happiness their #1 priority.
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They May Not Offer Pet Sitting 365 Days A Year
Since hobby pet sitters aren’t running a business, it’s more likely they will not want to take on visits during holidays or whenever they’re simply unavailable.
Imagine this: you call your sitter to look after Fido for Thanksgiving weekend, only to learn they’re unavailable because he or she will also be traveling. So now you’re stuck with the dilemma of having to find someone new, and go through a Meet & Greet and get acquainted all over again.
Why It's Important
Oftentimes, pet sitting isn’t just a one time job. Things come up, you have to leave town for a few days, or you’re working late, etc. The point is, finding a reliable and professional pet sitter is important because chances are you will be needing them more than one time. That’s why it’s critical that you know they’ll be there for you.
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What To Take Away From All Of This
Please note I am not trying to come down on someone who isn’t a professional pet sitter or discourage you from hiring someone who isn’t. I do believe, however, that if you’re trusting someone with something as valuable as your pets and home, they be prepared to take on that task.
If I can give you some advice, it would be to know what to ask. Knowing the person you are allowing into your home can give you a great sense of whether or not they are capable of providing you with complete peace of mind and care for your pets.
Here are a few questions to ask your pet sitter before you hire them:
Are they bonded and insured?
Are they pet first aid and CPR certified?
Are they running a professional pet care business or do they simply see your pets as easy money?
Do they have any online reviews?
Do they have a website? If they don't, why not?
How long have they been doing this? Is pet sitting something they only do in their spare time?