By Kelly Marshall
Today with a multitude of households relying on two incomes, more and more pet owners are considering the option of hiring a pet sitter to keep their furry friend happy and entertained while they’re away at work.
An alternative to taking your dog to a kennel, a pet sitter can be a wonderful way to let your dog to stay at home while still receiving the attention they need, not to mention being fed, given fresh water and taken for walks.
Many pets don’t tolerate car trips very well, making it too stressful to drive back and forth to the kennel every day and an even larger number of dogs suffer from a very real condition known as separation anxiety disorder.
Besides causing destructive behavior such as ripping apart the living room furniture, separation anxiety is harmful to a dog’s health because it puts undue stress on their hearts and lungs and causes their entire system to operate differently.
When trying to find a reliable, responsible pet sitter in your area begin with word of mouth, asking family, friends, and coworkers for their referrals and recommendations. You can also check the newspapers, community centers, and bulletin boards for advertisements along with the Yellow Pages or phone book. The Internet also provides a wealth of information about pet sitters with forums and countless websites devoted to the subject.
Many pet sitters will be bonded and or insured, which is not only for your protection but theirs as well. Professional pet sitters will have references or perhaps testimonials from previous or current clients along with the phone numbers of people to call if you have questions.
The best sitter will be more than willing to answer any and all of your questions without reserve. If he or she hasn’t already volunteered these details, ask them important questions such as how they would handle an emergency, including fires, accidents, injuries, and what would happen if your dog broke free from their leash or escaped the back yard.
The majority of dog sitters will meet with potential clients for an initial consultation to discuss all of these issues, to meet the dog or dogs, and see if the match will be a good fit. You might want to ask the dog sitter to take your pet for a short walk to see how they handle them on a leash and you should also cover topics such as where to take walks, or how often.
An experienced and knowledgeable pet sitter should have questions for owners, such as if a pet needs medication or has special dietary or behavioral issues that will need to be addressed.
And always have a complete list of emergency numbers handy. Include poison control, the nearest pet hospital, your veterinarian, your work and cell phone numbers and the nearest relative or neighbor.
Kelly Marshall is a featured author on Oh My Dog Supplies. For more articles by Kelly visit Oh My Dog Supplies.