When the pet owners are away. Dog kennels and catteries are great options, but pet sitters and pet sitting services can be an ideal alternative if you want your pet to be looked after in the comfort of their own homes.
Whether you’re looking for a dog sitter or a cat sitter, this article will guide you through the process to find a pet sitter that’s most suitable for you and your pet.
What are the benefits of hiring a pet sitter?
Hiring a pet sitter offers more flexibility if you want to maintain feeding and exercise routines in a home environment.
Other benefits that you and your furry friend can receive from hiring a pet sitter include:
- Less Stress
Many pets often experience separation anxiety whenever their owners are away. With a pet sitter around, they are given undivided attention and quality playtime. This lessens their loneliness and relieves them from stress.
- Consistent Routine
Pet sitters know the importance of sticking to schedules and routines. Having a plan for your pet sitter to follow will keep the routine going even when you’re away for a longer period of time. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your pet is being fed, walked, and cared for.
- Low Risk of Exposure to Contagious Diseases
It is observed that some cats and dogs sent to boarding facilities are prone to acquiring diseases such as Bordetella, a highly contagious respiratory infection. Leaving your pet at home with a pet sitter eliminates the risk of catching certain diseases.
What are the services pet sitters provide?
The services offered to pet owners may vary depending on the pet sitter or pet sitting company. Daily routines such as feeding, taking him out for a walk, or administering medication if required, can be performed by pet sitters.
You will find that most Pet sitting companies offer the following services:
- Dog walking
Daily walks can be arranged at a specific time. Walks last between twenty and sixty minutes.
- Drop-in visits
The pet sitter can drop by to check on your house and pet, the time the sitter spends at your property can be arranged by you in advance.
The pet sitter will stay in your home overnight to look after your pet, whilst you are away.
- Doggy daycare
Your dog is dropped off at the pet sitter’s home during the day and picked up by you later in the day.
- Dog boarding
Your dog will stay overnight at the pet sitter’s house to have a home from home experience.
Depending on the mutual agreement, additional duties can be arranged, such as vacuuming and collecting mails. Some pet sitters also offer pet transportation services.
How much do dog house-sitters charge?
The cost of hiring a dog sitter in the UK varies. It typically ranges from £10 to £20 per hour. There are pet sitting companies that charge a daily fixed rate that starts at £50 to over £100 per day.
The price of pet sitting service depends on several factors:
- An individual or pet sitting company
You have the option to hire a pet sitting company or an independent pet sitter. The pricing structure is either hourly or fixed half-day or a full day rate.
- Types of service
Basic services include feeding and walking. Pet sitters may charge more for services like grooming and bathing and additional home-sitting duties.
- Length of time of the booking
You have the option to choose from dog visits, dog boarding, or daycare. These services cover different lengths of time and thus have different pricing.
- Number of pets
If you have more than one pet that needs to be looked after, there will normally be a charge for the additional pet.
Pet sitting rates typically cost more in large cities with a higher cost of living compared to small towns or rural areas. Rates also vary from city to city; for example, sitters in London charge more than those in Glasgow. Pet sitters who have to travel long-distance or in areas with high traffic and congestion may charge an additional fee to cover transportation expenses and additional time.
What should I consider when looking for a pet sitter?
To help you choose a trusted pet sitter that best suited to you and your pet, here is a list of things you should keep in mind:
- Are pet sitters trained to handle pets?
Whilst there are no specific certifications required, having qualifications and experience in essential areas such as pet care, animal first aid and crisis prevention, as well as animal behaviour are things you’d want your pet sitter to have. Being a pet lover is a must.
- Are they trained for first aid emergencies?
Pet-related accidents or emergencies can happen at any time, so it is best to check if the pet sitter has completed any courses for pet first aid.
Providing CPR, administering first aid, and recognising emergencies such as heat stroke, seizures, and poisoning, are some of the skills pet sitters are trained for when they have a certification for pet first aid.
- Are they licenced, insured?
Insurance protects you and the pet sitter against negligence and intentional mischiefs, such as theft, loss of keys, and accidental damage of property.
- Do they have a written contract?
Ask them to provide you with a written contract and thoroughly go over the details. Check their full list of services, number of visits, the cost breakdown per day, and any additional charges.
The contract should also include cancellation policies and inclement weather policy, which involves their back-up plans in case of bad weather for taking your dog outside.