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Are you migrating to Canada with your beloved pet or pets and thinking about travelling to see this new country but not sure who will care for them in your absence?
Going on vacation is always an exciting experience, but leaving your beloved pets behind can be a source of anxiety and worry for many pet owners. Back home, you had a circle, perhaps a friend, a cat-loving aunt or someone who used to give you a hand in caring for them. Well... unfortunately, being a newcomer, you don't have that circle right away.
Let me show you how based on our experience, a pet sitter can help you with this and how we now travel knowing that Corita, our cat, is in the best hands.
Table of contents
1. What is a pet sitter?
A pet sitter is a person who temporarily cares for someone else's pet for a set period at the owner's home.
Pet sitting is a great way to love and care for animals while their owners are away. It involves caring for the pet's basic needs, such as providing food, water, exercise and companionship, according to the owner's requirements.
2. How do I find a trustworthy and reliable pet sitter?
Last year we discovered the TrustedHousesitters platform, which is a game changer to this day.
TrustedHousesitters is a platform that connects pet owners with trustworthy pet sitters from all over the world.
This service is ideal for pet owners who travel frequently or have to leave their homes for extended periods, as it offers a convenient and affordable way to ensure their pets are well cared for while they are away.
You can be sure that the people participating in this platform are trustworthy and reliable, as they do not charge anything for caring for their pets.
It is a friendly exchange between people who love pets and travel. In addition, the system works based on reviews, so you can always read the opinions of previous pet owners where the pet sitters applying to take care of your home and pets were.
3. What does a pet sitter do?
The duties of a pet sitter are diverse and depend on your needs as a pet owner.
Generally, they consist of caring for the pet's basic needs, such as providing food, water, exercise and companionship. It also includes primary care, such as brushing and bathing, and periodically informing you of the pet's condition, usually by sending photos or videos.
You must detail all the information the pet sitter needs to know to perform their job to the best of their ability, including whether your pets need medication, ongoing training, maintenance of any routines you have created, etc.
You can also request that they perform other tasks, such as taking out the recycling bins, watering the plants, picking up the mail, etc.
4. How much does a pet sitter cost?
It depends on the platform; at TrustedHouseSitters, you don't have to pay for each pet sitter that takes care of your pets; you create an account on the platform and pay for the membership of your choice. They work on an annual fee for an unlimited number of pet sitters.
The first step to using TrustedHousesitters as a pet owner is to create an account on their website. You must provide basic information, such as your name, email address and location.
Once your account is created, you can create a profile with information about your pets, their needs and their home. This will help potential pet sitters better understand your needs and determine whether they fit your pets.
5. How long can a pet sitter stay with my pet?
All the time you need, which you must indicate in the listing. I have seen postings for a weekend, a week, a month or even longer.
Having a pet sitter ensures that your pets are cared for in the comfort of your home. This is especially beneficial for pets that may experience anxiety or stress in unfamiliar surroundings, such as kennels or boarding facilities. A pet sitter can give your pets individual attention and care, ensuring their routines and needs are met.
6. What qualifications or training should a pet sitter have?
There are no requirements to be a pet sitter, they don't need an official certification, but since they are going to be in charge of your pet, you need to make sure they are a good fit. For example, if your pet needs a daily insulin injection, you will probably need someone with experience in that practice.
Once your listing is active, you can look for potential sitters interested in your post. TrustedHousesitters allows you to search for people based on location, availability and experience. You can also view their profiles, read reviews from previous pet owners and ask them questions to determine if they are a good fit for your pets.
7. How do I prepare my pet and home for a pet sitter?
Before you leave for your trip, preparing your home and pets for the sitter's service is essential.
This may include cleaning and tidying your home, ensuring your pets have enough food and supplies and providing detailed pet care instructions to your sitter. Also, ensure the sitter has all necessary keys, security codes and other access information.
8. What if my pet has special needs or requires medication?
If your pet has special needs, include that in the listing, so candidates know beforehand and simplify the onboarding process.
Our cat uses an inhaler every morning (yes, she does), so we put together a little procedure with pictures of how it works and when we have an interview or pre-visit with our prospective pet sitter, we show them how to do it.
9. What if there is an emergency while I am away?
Once you agree with a sitter to care for your pet, you prepare and send a document called a Welcome Guide to your sitter.
It can be as detailed as you want, but with over a year of experience, I can say that this document is essential to make life easier for both of you.
You include everything from the WIFI password to the cleaning products' location in that welcome guide. This is where you have the updated vet information, animal hospital, insurance, etc. So, complete this guide at the beginning, and then you must update it if something changes.
10. Can a pet sitter stay in my home, or do they need to take my pet to their own home?
TrustedHousesitters works with pet sitters by having them stay at your home, so your pet is always in their environment, and you don't have to stress them out in an unfamiliar place.
11. How do I get a pet sitter?
Now that you know the general information, here's what you need to do to get a pet sitter in easy steps:
Register on TrustedHousesitters
Create your profile and your listing with all the necessary details about your pets with more information, including their routines, any medical conditions or special needs, how long you need a pet sitter, and any other important information required by potential pet sitters. You should also include details about your home, such as its location, size, and unique features.
Post your listing in plenty of time to choose a pet sitter that fits your needs.
Wait for applicants to sign up for your listing or invite someone through the platform.
Conduct interviews with your potential sitters (optional but recommended) to ensure they fit your pets and home.
Once you have found a sitter you are comfortable with, it is time to finalize arrangements by accepting them into the system.
Prepare your home as outlined in item 7 above.
During your absence, keep in contact with the pet sitter to make sure everything is going well. TrustedHousesitters provides a messaging system that allows you to communicate with your pet sitter, ask for updates about your pet and address any concerns.
When you return home, thank your pet sitter for the services and leave a review on TrustedHousesitters. Your review will help other pet owners find trusted pet sitters and provide valuable feedback to your pet sitter.
If, in any case, you also want to be a pet sitter, be sure to check out The Beginner's Guide to Becoming a Pet Sitter. In our case, we have a combined membership at TrustedHousesitters that allows us to be a pet sitter and also be a pet owner to have someone care for Corita in our absence.
I hope this post encourages you to experiment with a pet sitter, and I am sure you will find someone who can then be a frequent pet sitter, as you can send out individual invitations.