4 Steps for Hiring a Good Pet Sitter

Hotel reservations. Check. Airline tickets. Check. Much-needed R&R. Soon. A worry-free vacation is in your near future — a relaxing vacation free of worrying about the security of your home or the care of your beloved pets.

However, you may need to go back to your vacation prep check-list and include “hire a house and pet sitter.”

House sitters ensure your home is cared for, utilities continue without interruption and the property is secure, but you also need to find someone who is a good pet sitter and can give your dog or cat the care they need while you’re away.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, an estimated 2,188,005 burglaries occurred in 2011. Residential properties accounted for 74.5 percent of all burglary offenses.

Rest easily while you’re away knowing that a trusted friend or professional is keeping your home maintained and your furry friend secure.

Build an Information Pack

It’s your responsibility as the homeowner to provide a good pet sitter with all the necessary information and emergency contacts.

Provide a list of contact phone numbers, including your cell and hotel numbers, as well as numbers for your veterinarian, electrician or plumber.

A list of house rules for the house sitter to follow should be part of your information pack. For example, let the house sitter know if some rooms are off-limits or if friends are not allowed in the home while you’re gone.

Good Pet Sitter

Mark Details on Paper

You know your daily routine, but your house sitter does not. Detail instructions to ensure that everything that should be done gets done.

If your house sitter is also taking on the role of a pet sitter, explain the feeding and exercise schedule and how much to feed the pet.

Write down where the sitter can find food, leashes, and toys; mention any indoor and outdoor rules.

Other details may include watering plants or giving Fido his medications. Also, leave a basket near the front door where the sitter can easily toss the mail each day.

Take Care of the Utilities

If you wish to keep your utilities on while away, contact your utility companies. Let them know you’ll be out of town and pay ahead of time to avoid cancellations.

HouseSitters.com mentions that bills such as telephone, electricity, and gas are generally paid by the house sitter if the house-sitting arrangement lasts for more than a couple of weeks.

Fixed bills such as mortgage payments are usually paid by the homeowner. Let the sitter know about other services, such as when the garbage truck arrives or when packages are delivered.

Prepare Your House

Make sure your house is clean and comfortable to live in while the house/pet sitter is caring for your home.

Store breakables out of sight and put valuables under lock and key for peace of mind. If you have a security system in place, tell them you’ll be out of town, but your sitter will be available.

Trust Your Sitter

If you can’t have a trustworthy friend, family member or neighbor look over your home, make sure you thoroughly research house sitting companies or ask for referrals.

This person has access to your most intimate space, your home, and without an extensive background check.

you could have your identity easily stolen from you while you’re basking on the beach.

It doesn’t take much for a house sitter to commit mail fraud and identity theft by collecting bank account information or a social security number.

House Sitters America and HouseCarers can help you find a professional and qualified house sitter and a good pet sitter.

You can also check out our article about the top 10 tips for pet owner communication.

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