Publié le by NmNomador
Pet Sitting 101: What You Need to Know
There are a variety of reasons a homeowner might need someone to stay in their home while they’re on vacation, whether they have a garden that needs tending to or they simply don’t want to leave their home empty. Many also need someone to look after their pets.
Pet sitters get companionship and maybe some extra animal snuggles, but unlike an empty home where you can come and go as you please, a pet sitter has more responsibilities and time constraints due to their pet care responsibilities. So before you book your first pet sitting adventure, consider these five things:
The kind of animal you will be watching
Animals vary, but in general dogs will need more attention and exercise than cats. Livestock like goats likely live outside and will need less of your attention in some ways, but there will also be specific instructions on how to feed them and what to do with them at night.
If you want to spend your days relaxing on the couch, pet sitting an energetic dog that needs lots of time outside might not be ideal for you. Similarly, if you hope to enjoy the company of a cat during your pet sit, a home with an anti-social feline might not be the best fit.
The type of trip you want to take
One way pet sitting is different from house sitting is that you’ll have to consider the pets in your care. After all, the house doesn’t need to eat dinner every night at exactly 7 p.m. It is unlikely that you will be able to spend nights away from the home while you’re petsitting, unless you’ve arranged secondary care with the homeowners in advance. If you prefer slow travel and enjoy connecting with people, places, and animals, pet sitting is a great way to become intimate with a locale.
The maintenance level of the pet
Most cats stay inside and have little in the way of needs, but some cats come with special instructions. Make sure you discuss this with the homeowner before assuming that all cats require little attention. If you intend to pet sit a dog, find out exactly what they will need. How many walks daily? How long should each one be? How many times a day do they generally need to be let outside? Livestock have their own unique needs, too. Maintaining an animal’s routine is one of the best ways to ensure a successful pet sit.
Ultimately it’s up to you to decide how much time and energy you will want to devote to a pet on your trip before you book a pet sit involving a dog that needs five mile-long walks each day!
Whether it’s a dog picking a fight with another dog, a cat with an injured paw, or a rabbit who’s just acting a little strange, pet emergencies can happen anytime. Before you start the pet sit, it’s essential you know what to do with the pet(s) in case of emergency.
Have the name and number of the homeowner’s preferred veterinarian written down or programmed into your phone and discuss beforehand how you’d be reimbursed for such expenses. And check out what some other housesitting experts think of what to do during an emergency situation.
How many animals you’re comfortable with
Sure, you’ve had a dog or two, maybe even a couple of cats. Some animal lovers like to have as many furry friends around as possible, though, so it’s up to you to decide how many you’d feel comfortable caring for at one time. Since dogs often require more time and energy than cats, so pet sitting with three dogs will be a very different experience than pet sitting with three cats!
Though you will likely find housesitting with pets to be a fun and fulfilling part of your travels, be sure to learn about Housesitting with Difficult Pets because it’s always possible that you will run across a pet with difficult quirks sometime during your journeys.
Whether you’re a veteran housesitter or just starting out, you’re likely to find that pet sitting is just a little different than caring for an empty house, but in a good way. If you’re realistic about your travel goals and the time you can devote to caring for the pet(s) of the house, your pet sitting experiences can be fun, memorable, and leave you with new human and furry friends!
Elizabeth Xu is a freelance writer, traveler, and animal lover. Follow her tweets for all those things
and more @ElizabethMXu