By Sari Reis
As the holidays approach, many pet parents are considering hiring a professional pet sitter for their furry kids while they are away. This is a good thing; but let me share the 10 pet peeves that can get your relationship off to a bad start.
- Late requests. It amazes me how many people wait until one or two days before they are leaving to book pet care. I hate saying no to clients but there are only so many pet visits we can make each day without compromising the quality of care.
- Not requesting sufficient care. Cats should not be left for more than 24 hours without a visit. Dogs need to get out for potty and exercise at least two times a day and preferably three or four times. They also need social contact. Don’t request one visit a day for your dog; even if he has a doggie door.
- Not closing off hiding places for cats. Some shy cats we care for require medication and like to hide, usually under the bed. If I have to medicate a kitty, I have to have access to him. Doors to closets and bedrooms where cats can hide need to be closed.
- Not communicating. Sometimes you cannot be reached due to your location, but we need to hear from you especially if there is a problem. Always leave an emergency contact number and please respond to pet sitter communication when you can.
- Not providing enough supplies. If you are going away, please be sure to provide enough food, litter and medication if needed, for the entirety of your trip so we don’t run out.
- Leaving your home in disarray. We do need access to the sink as well as a safe place to interact with your pets. Dirty dishes in the sink and clothes and other items strewn about the home, make it difficult to do our job properly.
- Not cleaning the litter boxes before you leave. Often we find litter boxes that have not been cleaned for days when we arrive. This is not good for your kitty or for us. Same goes for a backyard full of poop that hasn’t been cleaned up.
- Not changing linen. Sometimes we do sleepovers at client’s homes and will be using their beds. Please change the linen for us or at least leave fresh sheets out so we can do it.
- Nor providing parking. Many of our client’s live in complexes with limited guest parking. We need to be able to park and get to the pets easily so please give us your spot or make provisions for an easy access spot.
- Not letting us know when you are home. Our responsibility does not end until you are back with your pets. Please text, call or email as soon as you arrive home; no matter how late.
By using this list as your guideline, you can ensure that your pet sitter will want to have you as a client. Happy holidays!
—Sari Reis is a Certified Humane Education Specialist and the owner of Mission Valley Pet Sitting services. For more information you can contact her at 760-644-0289 or missionvalleypetsitting.com.