Author Topic: Any advice on getting a pet sitter?  (Read 4886 times)

Offline Binky

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Any advice on getting a pet sitter?
« on: November 27, 2006, 01:49:37 am »
I am wondering if anyone here has used a pet sitter?  If so, would you do it again?  I am so nervous about leaving my babies with someone else.  I have seen an ad for a pet sitter who will come and stay at your house and care for the animals while you're gone.  Having a stranger in the house also makes me a little nervous... But I do not want to board the dogs and the goats can't go to a kennel so an in home sitter seems to be the only choice.  Any advice/experience with this?
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Offline newflvr

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Re: Any advice on getting a pet sitter?
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2006, 02:13:55 am »
We have used pet sitters a couple of times, and sad to say, both times were disasters.  The good news is that the dogs and cats were fine, but the house!!   :o :o :o 

The first one I used didn't do a thing except sew and feed the dogs.  She didn't pick up poo, walk the dogs, make the beds, pick up the mail or newspapers, water the pots, etc. It was AWFUL to come home to our bedroom (which I had asked her NOT to use!) a freaking mess!  She said the cat wouldn't let her make the bed (and our cats are outside cats!)

The second one walked around in her bra and panties which shocked the gardener and house cleaner  :o :o!! She also used every room in the  house, entertained friends, gave house tours, took care of 6 other dogs HERE!!! who sat on the furniture, pooed (which she didn't pick up!).  She also asked the lady who comes in once a week to do her laundry and change her bed (which I don't ask her to do!!!)

From now on, I'm going to leave the dogs with my friend who has 7 Newfs and just have a pet service feed the cats.  Never again!!!! AND we did check references.  Did everyone else lie?  Or maybe I just look like a guppy!!!

Hope you find someone who is far, FAR better than we have!!!

Offline schelmischekitty

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Re: Any advice on getting a pet sitter?
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2006, 02:22:48 am »
maybe there is a pet-sitting COMPANY, and not an individual, in your area?  i don' think i'd feel comfortable with just anyone walking in, however, someone who works for a company would probably have had background and reference checks, and also they've been to multiple houses, and if things didn't do good with them, i'm sure they'd be fired!
steffanie in atlanta

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Kirsti

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Re: Any advice on getting a pet sitter?
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2006, 02:24:10 am »
I'm not sure about pet sitters. I normaly use a neighboor that I'm really close with to come feed Sammi and the cats, but laitly, I've just been taking Sammi to my grandparents house to have sleepovers with Tia, and just had a neighboor feed the cats...I would think of asking a neighboor or close friend to watch them, or even have there big kids (If you trust them around your dogs)...


Haahaa, Stella, thats the way I am when I puppy sit or kid sit, I always clean there house (haahaa, I bet they like it, I just do it cuz no one is there to stop me, and what else are you going to do at nap time? haahaa)

~K

Offline mynameislola

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Re: Any advice on getting a pet sitter?
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2006, 02:24:18 am »
Does your Vet. have cards for anyone who does this as a business?  How about recommendation s from local breeders?  Are you a part of any group that has members who can be trusted?  Got a neighbor who will trade sitting services?

Legally, it is a nightmare to get compensated for damages from people you find randomly like in a newspaper.  The ads can also be from criminals looking for easy access to empty houses.

If you do go with a sitter, check your homeowners insurance to be sure what is covered, and write a contract that specifies what will be done and not done.  Photograph the house before you leave with the sitter in the film, and film it afterward if there is damage.

Then do what I do and never go anywhere.  :)

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Offline Binky

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Re: Any advice on getting a pet sitter?
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2006, 02:31:17 am »

Then do what I do and never go anywhere.  :)



Wow, so I am right in feeling uncomfortable with leaving my animals w/a stranger!  The problem is that we never do go anywhere! :)  I was hoping to spend some time with the family over Christmas though...
My SIL has always taken care of the animals for us but now that we have so many (7) I feel that it's really too much to ask her to do.
Thanks for the suggestions though.  I think I will look into a company or ask my vet.  However, I have the feeling that my husabnd and I will not be taking a vacation any time soon -why change now?! :)
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Offline mtaig12

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Re: Any advice on getting a pet sitter?
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2006, 04:51:24 am »
I had a really good experience with a local company. They have been around for ten years. The owner of the company ended up being my "sitter" as he lives nearby. They charge per visit, so we had two visits a day. During those visits, the cats would be fed/watered, litter box scooped if needed, and the dogs would be walked/fed/watered. Each visit lasted a minumum of 45 minutes. When we got home, there weren't any problems (all the pets were happy to see us, but nothing beyond that).

It did cost an arm and a leg, but we felt like the company was reputable. He asked our permission to have someone else come instead of him (we were gone a week), and we could have said no. We wrote out all our instructions for all the animals (he even said "You are the perfect pet sitting customer!")

So there are good ones out there. Good luck!

Tracy
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Offline lil_princess724

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Re: Any advice on getting a pet sitter?
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2006, 06:18:25 am »
Wish we could give you advice but we are having the same troubles. Hubby and i are going on crusie jan6-13 and have not found anyone to watch the pup and cat. Good luck.
Cassandra
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Offline Binky

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Re: Any advice on getting a pet sitter?
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2006, 07:51:19 am »
Maybe we should have a BPO petsitting club!  I'd love to take care of any animals in Southern Maine (or further if you brought them to me!)  Although I would probably end up becoming a dog-napper! :)
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Re: Any advice on getting a pet sitter?
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2006, 09:20:09 am »
I'd ask the staff at your vet clinic if they would be able to watch your pets.

 I got into pet sitting that way. I worked as  vet tech, and people kept on asking for names of good dog sitters and it just made sense for me to do it. I often knew the dogs, I had no problems with special instructions (like medications) and if anything went wrong a had their vets home phone number. After a while I had a really steady clientele.

And a total plus of getting vet. staff is that they also represent the clinic, so they will often try harder to make things go smoothly.

Good Luck ;)

Offline VdogLover

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Re: Any advice on getting a pet sitter?
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2006, 11:12:53 am »
 I understand where your coming from. I fear even leaving my husband in charge of the pets and house (tried it a few times with ok results :D). I have many board customers who will not use a home sitter due to fear of things such as ID theft...its scary nowadays. 
 
Good luck~

Offline chaos270

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Re: Any advice on getting a pet sitter?
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2006, 08:49:33 pm »
We never go anywhere because we have so many and with Lacey being aggressive there's no way we really can all go unless we take her with us.  And the horse friend that lives close to us is afraid of Gabby(cause she's big and has a bad attitude). We usually only do day trips and leave at least one person home to take care of the pets.  Too bad we're on opposite sides of New England cause I'd watch them for you.  Good luck finding a pet sitter.  I agree you should find someone you can trust and that gets along with all of your pets.
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Lacey ~ the aussie 
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Fire ~ Appendix Quarter Horse/Belgian gelding
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Offline carriegirl78

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Re: Any advice on getting a pet sitter?
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2007, 12:36:04 pm »
Hi!

I'm a professional pet sitter myself (in Australia we are known as Pet Minders). My advice would be hire a sitter from a registered company, not just someone who has placed up a flyer. Ensure the sitter is insured (and bonded in the USA) and meet with them before hand to make sure you like them and that they are good with your animals.

You should not need to leave keys to your house provided everything your pets need can be left in an accessible shed or undercover somewhere.

If you are worried still you can always have friends and relatives drop by to ensure everything is going well.

Best Wishes!
Carolyn