Pet Sitting

 

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During a14-year history in the U.S. and abroad, PSI has walked the professional pet sitting industry through increasing levels of education and prosperity.  Pet Sitters International was founded in March 1994 by Patti J. Moran, author of Pet Sitting for Profit. PSI continues to expand the pet sitting industry with products, training, services and events.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Certification through the National Association of Pet Sitting Professionals is an acknowledgement that a pet sitter associate is a serious professional who has obtained a high level of expertise through personal study & has completed an educational course in pet care, health, nutrition and behavior, as well as, business development & management, plus a complete pet first aid course.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some consider pet sitting an art

When Travel with Your Cat isn't Possible
There are times when you're going to have to leave your kitty at home while you go away. If she's used to going places with you, this could be particularly hard for her. She's not dumb... she knows when traveling is in the offing. As you pack and make arrangements to go away, she will be looking for her carrier and maybe her motions sickness pills, too. There are times when it's just not feasible to take her along with you. It could be that you're going to visit a friend or relative's home. When making those kinds of visits, it's really not polite to walk in the door with your cat, her litter box and ball toys, then spread them around your host's home. Or, maybe your going for much deserved relaxation at a spa which won't allow your pet to come along. Whatever the situation is, while your gone you're going to want to provide the care and attention your cat has come to expect from you.

You could reserve room for her at a boarding kennel. But really, no matter how nicely appointed a kennel is, it's not 'home'. She probably doesn't sleep well in unfamiliar places and there will be long periods when she'll be confined alone. Then there're those kenneled dogs snoring up a storm all night long. Who can sleep with all that racket going on? With regulated exercise periods, small cramped sleeping quarters and set dinner hours... geeez, it'd be like staying in a jail. Facilities crowded with lots of other animals raise cat health concerns such as kennel cough (something analogous to a chest cold in humans) or other contagious maladies.

There are your friends or the neighbor's teen who could be cajoled into stopping by to make sure kitty has food and water. Of course there's that litter box that will have to be changed and cleaned on a regular basis. If kitty's upset with your leaving she might miss the litter box altogether to show her displeasure. That'll need cleaning, too. It's really a lot to ask of someone to be as responsible for the care of your cat and expect them to give her the same loving attention you do.

Look at it from her perspective. Whether in a kennel or staying at home, you're not there. And with your absence, none of your habits are there either. She's used to you being home at certain times doing certain things that are routine for you. Cat's love regularity and habit. They have their favorite walks along their territory boundaries which they take at the same time each day. They know when you're on the computer and when it's ok to jump up and bother you for a while. Kitty will stand on the keyboard or rub the monitor and beg for a little attention. She may act like her nudging doesn't mean anything, but all the little habits that identify how she relates with you are important to her. Giving her comfort while you're away is very important for her psychologically, which also affects her physical health.

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What About a Pet Sitting Service?
Americans are treating their pets more like family members at a record rate. In 2005 their are some estimates that in the U.S., 35 billion dollars was spent on pet care. As pets become more like members of our families, and people become more mobile and traveling often, alternatives to kennels or friends for the care of their pet while being away from home has spurned an exponentially expanding market in the pet sitting industry.

Top sitter services have based the success of their businesses on the desire of pet owner clients for their pets to receive the care, love and attention that they as the pet owner world give. They expect care to be given on a one to one basis and the quality of care must match or exceed that which a pet is used to getting. In some cases, a pet sitting assignment may require the sitter to stay in the home with the pet while the owners are away. Therefore, a quality pet sitting service will emphasize certain important founding criteria for their business:

  • Employed sitters must be fully bonded and insured.
  • Employees have to be fully screened with drug tests and possibly financial records disclosed
  • Most definitely they will receive training in the handling of pets.
  • Criminal background checks should be made.
  • Full money-back guarantees offered which back up a commitment to quality services.
  • There should be in-home consultations to discuss policies and procedures before any pet is agreed upon.

Large pet sitter services will have many employees. Smaller services may consist of one or two people. The size of a company shouldn't matter as much as the standards they adhere to and their ability to articulate those standards. And, their business should be backed with membership in recognized pet sitting organizations such as the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters or Pet Sitters International. Asking for and checking references from these businesses will give valuable insight into the integrity of how they do business, and their trustworthiness in regard to caring for your cat.

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Qualified Professionals are Credentialed
If you are taking a trip that will require you to leave your cat, or any pet behind in your home, you will want to find someone who will take care of these family members as well as you do. Trusted friends might fill in and do well for this service. But to be safe, a certified professional pet sitter is the best bet for your cat's well being and safety.

A prospective sitter should meet a strict set of criteria before you decide upon their pet sitting service. Things to consider include:

  • Pet sitters should be bonded and insured. They should be able to provide good references.
  • An interview with the sitter should reveal an adequate knowledge on her part for the care of pets, their safety and well-being.
  • A sitter should demonstrate an in-depth understanding and knowledge of pet health and nutrition.
  • Sitters should provide written pet sitting service agreements and fee structures.
  • The sitter should visit your home, meet your pets, and show not only comfort in being around animals, but display competency in handling your pet.
  • She should be courteous, informed, and interested in your pet. She should be curious about the care and special needs of your pet.
  • She should take notes.
  • The sitter should conduct her business as a professional with regular business hours, and is adept at handling questions and complaints.
  • The sitter should not draw attention to the fact that you are away from home through any actions or disclosures on her part.
  • The sitter should conduct business honestly, with integrity, and observes the Federal, State and local laws governing business licensing and animal care.
  • There will need to be agreement on veterinary and emergency services for your pet.
  • Be sure she has a contingency plan for inclement weather, illness on her part or anything that would interfere with her pet sitting duties.
  • If it is a large service, ask about training programs for their staff.
  • Inquire about any pre-employment screening performed , such as any criminal records or drug testing, before pet sitters are hired.
  • You'll want to provide an adequate supply of food, treats and toys for the caretaker to access for your pet's health and emotional well being while you are gone. She should be capable of replacing anything that depletes in supply, just like you would do.

Of course, you will want to take notice of your pet's reaction to the sitter. She should get off on the right paw with her temporary caretaker.

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"Well... what's this all about"
Alexander was curious about this stranger who was being quizzed so carefully. Everyone in the room was continually glancing in his direction. And, he was getting a lot of warm smiles from this person that he didn't even know.

"Something's up... I've been getting a lot of extra hugs and pets, lately. And, the 'treat' door has been left wide open".

He decided to give this friendly stranger an inspection. As he put his nose to this new person's shoes and clothing, he instinctively felt her hand come his way in what was obviously going to be a petting stroke. He arched his back in her direction, shaking a little with anticipation.

"Ahhh... she does know what I like! Yes, right there. Behind the ears, and... oh, yes... under the chin. She must know I can't reach that spot very easily".

"She looks very friendly", he thought, as he leaped onto the sofa for closer scrutiny. "This lap looks nice and comfortable. She does have a nice voice, too. I just can't resist the 'sing-song' way she calls my name".

"Yes, I believe this person is a fine addition to our home and I hope she stays for a while".


With that, his eyes went half-closed, and his motor revved to high idle.
I think this is the right person for Alexander.


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Fetch! Pet Care's comprehensive in-home pet sitter services are a humane alternative for pet owners reluctant to kennel board their animals due to the typically small, crowded cages, the inherent risk for contracting kennel cough or other airborne diseases, the fear that their pets will suffer from depression, anxiety, lack of exercise, or the need to book well in advance due to limited space.

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