It’s paramount, when you leave your pets alone, that you chose the right person for the all important task of looking after them. This person will not only guarantee that your pet is safe and emotionally so, too; the carer should also make sure that your house is safe too, to prevent burglaries and problems. Here follow a few tips that will help you and make this totally stress free!
1. Book/vet well in advance. This allows you to perhaps interview a few people and then decide which one is the right one for you and your pet. In emergency, you will probably have to compromise, or the person you want may be already at full capacity; pet carers tend to be very busy at certain times of the year and the can’t always accommodate everyone. Personally, if I can’t do an assignment, I refer to a few trusted colleagues – this is also something you should look out for, that your pet carer has a network of colleagues who can step in in case of need.
2. Insurance/identity. As this person will have your address and key to your house, it seems only fair to me that you know who they are and where they live! If you don’t know them because of a referral, they should volunteer to show you identity/papers proving address/identity, and perhaps offer you copy of that. In terms of insurance, not all pet carers are insured, but it’s always a good sign if they are, as it shows a commitment to their profession and you know that if things go wrong, everything will be covered.
3. A practical streak and a love for animals. Now that you know they are trusted and honest, you will need to know that they understand what your pets needs are! Your pet will have physical needs, which include food/water but also hygienic considerationse.i. a clean litter; and emotional needs e.i. cuddles, play, social interaction. If a pet carer looks reluctant in terms of cleaning tasks, I would say to you, do not hire that person. Cleaning after pets is, tout court, part of the job; it’s as if a nanny told you that she doesn’t change nappies. Also check how your pet responds to the pet carer, and how they interact with your pet: you know your pet and you will have a fair idea of how they feel about that person.
4. Be clear about expectations: last but not least. It’s much better to be very clear about what is expected if the carer doesn’t give you a form, just write a detailed email. Please don’t be shy! It’s totally legitimate to maintain your pet’s routine, whatever that might be! A good carer understands that. In turn, be sure of how they want to be paid and when. Personally, I prefer to receive payment after providing the service, and the grounds that I prefer people to come home and be happy about the service; therefore they will recommend me to their friends/relatives. In such a way, my business grows on trust and good service: and I work for very nice people!
Anyway, I hope the above helps. There’s nothing worse than going on holiday and feeling anxious about your pet care arrangements! It spoils your time on holiday. Summer is around the corner so these tips may come handy!