You can’t always be around for your dog 24/7, even if you want to be. Sometimes, you have to leave them at home, potentially for an entire day. In these situations, it’s worth relying on a dog sitter who can keep your pet company and ensure all their needs are met while you’re away. Of course, it can be worrying leaving your canine companion with a stranger, which is why there are a few things to consider before hiring someone.
Make sure they’re experienced
A good dog sitter has experience with dogs. They don’t necessarily need to have looked after someone else’s pet before, but they need to know their way around caring for these animals. Be sure to ask every potential candidate about their experience so that you can rule out anyone who doesn’t have the relevant knowledge for the job. Don’t forget to inquire about what kind of dogs they’ve been responsible for too. It’s no good getting a sitter who only knows about chihuahuas if you have a Great Dane.
Come up with emergency scenarios
It’s impossible to prepare for every eventuality when leaving your dog with a sitter. However, you still want to know what the stranger will do in an emergency. That’s why it’s worth devising some potential “what if” scenarios and asking how the sitter would respond. Depending on what they say, you’ll know whether or not you can trust their instincts if something does happen while you’re away.
Spend time with them before hiring
If your need for a dog sitter is just a one-time occurrence, you might not feel inclined to take extra steps. However, if you’re going to rely on their services regularly, you need to know that they have a good bond with your dog before you leave the two of them together. If possible, introduce the sitter to your pet while you’re around and let them be in charge. This should help your dog to see them as someone you trust, making it easier for them to follow their orders when you’re away. Consider following this up with a trial run where you’re still around.
Give them as much information as possible
There’s a lot that your sitter will need to know when they start looking after your dog. What’s the animal’s medical history? Where do they like to go for a walk? Are there any dogs they’re friendly/unfriendly with? You pick up so much information when you’re a pet owner that other people won’t know unless you tell them. It’s vital that you impart as much knowledge on your prospective sitter as possible. Ideally, you’ll want to write it all down so that they have a document they can always refer to. If the sitter is put off by how much you have to tell them, they’re probably not suitable for the job.
It can be scary leaving your dog in the hands of a stranger, but if you just trust your instincts, you’ll make the right call when hiring a sitter.