A Dog Sitter will go to your home and look after your house and dog when you are gone. This is a good option if you do not want to leave your home unattended, have more than one dog, or your dog is unsocialised. It may also be the best option if you have a puppy under 6 months. You may decide you want to avoid exposing your dog to the stress of staying in an unfamiliar environment and leave him/her at home where he/she is comfortable and secure.
WHY USE A DOG SITTER
It is inevitable at some point that you will need to leave your dog. You may not have family or friends who can help. Or you may want to consider whether your family or friends are the best people to leave your dog with. Do they have experience with dogs? Would they be aware of the dangers? Will they have the time to give your dog the walks or attention he needs? You might find you will need to hire a professional. Your dog depends on you to choose the right sitter. And with the right sitter you can feel safe in the knowledge your dog is secure and happy.
FINDING AND CHOOSING A DOG SITTER
Research your options well in advance. Meet and interview sitters in your area, or the area you are likely to be leaving your dog - well before you are planning to go away.
When you find someone you would be comfortable with, make sure you book well in advance - particularly during the holidays when sitters can get booked up.
Some Dog Sitters will offer other services, such as watering your plants or taking in the post.
A Dog Sitter may offer a more specialised and tailored service for your dog, than perhaps a Kennel would.
WHAT TO CHECK FOR
Check your sitter is CRB checked. This means they do not have a criminal record.
Check your Sitter is bonded and insured (check insurance covers loss of keys)..
Ask for references.
Interview the sitter and observe their interaction with your dog - this can be a vital sign as to how they will treat him when they are alone. Trust your instincts.
Check your pet sitters is affiliated with a professional pet sitting organization, if so they will be bound by a quality standard of excellence. The organisation they are affiliated with may investigate if there is a complaint.
For further more detailed tips and hints see ‘Dog Walkers’ and ‘Boarders’..
It can even be a good idea to let the sitter get to know your dog and leave them together for short periods rather than suddenly leaving them for a long time.
Remember you cannot explain to your dog why you are leaving or how long you will be! So it can be unnerving for your pet.
Do not make too much of a fuss leaving your dog. Leave calmly, quickly and quietly. If you make a fuss you can reinforce any idea your dog might have, that something is wrong. Leaving your dog with a jumper or something that smells of you can be comforting.
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