We’ve all done it, asked a friend or family member to be our pet sitter while we go on vacation – not a worry in the world because we are comfortable with someone we know and trust. After all, what could go wrong? A LOT! And I found out the hard way.
My friend, I’ll call her “Sue”, knew a lot about dogs and loved my “wondermutts.” I left detailed instructions about everything from feeding and medicating to sleeping and playing. We agreed that if anything questionable happened, Sue would call me immediately. I also let my veterinarian know that Sue could bring the dogs in if she thought they needed medical attention.
I returned home to an unimaginable disaster. I listened to numerous voice mails from neighbors complaining about barking at 3:00am. Sue knew the dogs should be in with her, behind a closed door, in the bedroom at night. I also discovered the back screen door shredded and the floors inside the house had dried diarrhea all over them. Sue claimed to know nothing. Things “went fine” she said. (Had she even spent time with them?) She was supposed to “move in” for the week, but there was little evidence of that. What kind of pet sitter had I actually hired?
The stress and anxiety my pets went through was unforgivable. It took days for everyone to get back to normal and to clean and repair things around the house. Not to mention a friendship was ruined forever.
Professional pet sitters, on the other hand, are just that – they perform professional pet care services for a living. They are committed to continuing education, are members of numerous professional associations that impart literally decades of cumulative experience, they are bonded, insured and Pet First Aid Certified – in short, they know what they’re doing. When it’s Christmas Eve they’re not wondering whether to stay and have another eggnog and piece of pie before they “have to go” care for a pet. Caring for your pet is their passion and they’re already out making their rounds.