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When you need to leave town without your animals, who do you call?
The truth is we all want to find a free or very cheap pet sitter, the neighbor kid or some family friend. While many pet sittings go smoothly and the work itself is relatively easy, you should consider just what would happen if something did go wrong.
Of course, we are biased because we think that pet sitting and dog walking should be treated as a career choice (or at lease a serious job). It is because of this our pet sitters often come at a steeper price than the kid down the street. Why?
Why can we charge so much? Why are we so proud of the services we offer?
1. Knowledge and Experience.
A professional pet sitter is like any other professional, they know what they are doing and have experience doing it. At KAS some of our pet sitters are new to the industry but that's why we hold regular meetings and group discussion to help spread knowledge from seasoned pet sitters to nubies.
2. Prepared for the worst.
Anyone who claims to be a professional, better have some idea of what they are going to do when things go south. Let's face it life happens, so what are you going to do when it does? Pet sitters should know different. Before the pet owner ever leaves home the pet sitter should make sure they are as prepared as they can be with emergency contacts, know where the closest vet is, understand the current health of the animal, and make sure that transportation if necessary has been arranged.
3. Open communication.
No one wants a pet sitter who is dishonest. A pet professional should be completely open and honest about the happenings around your home and with your animals. Many pet sitters send a report each visit, or day, letting the owner know exactly what is happening. A great pet sitter will make sure to add photos and videos to their reports.
Of course, if someone is going to do any kind of professional work they should keep a calendar up to date with appointments and to-dos. The best pet sitters have systems in place to record and track pet information, customer information, and emergency information so that it is easy to access. There should also be organization system for keys so that they don't get lost of stolen.
5. Know how to spot early symptoms of anxiety, stress, and illness in animals.
Lastly, pro pet sitters should have tricks to help reduce the anxiety or relieve the stress. No pet likes being left behind with a stranger, but it helps when that stranger knows exactly how to help them cope with the absence of their owners.
Knowledge really is power. You wouldn't go see the kid down the street to look after your sick grandma, why would you have them take care of the family pet? Pet professionals of all kinds should be experienced, educated, prepared, organized, and above all else know how to make your pet feel relaxed and comfortable while you're gone.