Searching for someone to watch after pets is always high on the to-do list for pet owners getting ready to travel, whether for work or pleasure. Finding someone they can trust with their precious animals can sometimes be a challenge.
As the owner of Leashes To Leads Pet Care LLC, which offers pet sitting services in Ocala, I encourage pet owners only to use the services of professional pet sitters for their pet care needs this spring break and throughout the year.
With so many new websites and apps advertising pet sitters and dog walkers, it can be difficult for pet owners to know who they can trust. It’s important that pet owners understand that there are professional pet sitting and dog walking businesses that offer peace of mind that other pet care options cannot.
I encourage pet owners to do their due diligence when selecting pet care providers. News stories of tragedies caused by pet lovers looking to earn extra cash and calling themselves “pet sitters” have become more common as the number of pet care directory sites have grown and articles have touted pet sitting as an easy side job. While these pet lovers are likely well-inten- tioned, they often lack the experience, education and insurance coverage needed should a pet emergency or other unfortunate situations occur.
Just because someone is a pet lover and has a profile on an online directory—or even on a nationally publicized site—doesn’t ensure he or she is a qualified pet sitter operating a legitimate business. In today’s sharing economy, anyone can offer their services online, so it’s important for pet owners to take a closer look to ensure they are hiring not just a pet lover, but a pet lover who is also a true pet care professional.
I am a member of Pet Sitters International (PSI), the world’s leading educational association for professional pet sitters and dog walkers. PSI encourages pet owners to ask any potential pet sitter seven important questions:
1. Does the pet sitter have the proper business license for your city or state, if required?
2. Is the pet sitter insured and bonded?
3. Can the pet sitter provide proof of a clear criminal history?
4. Does the pet sitter provide client references?
5. Will the pet sitter use a pet sitting services agreement or contract?
6. Is the pet sitter a Certified Professional Pet Sitter (CPPSTM) and/or has he or she partici- pated in other pet care training, such as pet first aid?
7. Is the pet sitter a member of a professional and educational association, such as Pet Sitters International?
PSI also advises pet owners to schedule an initial consultation, also known as a Meet & Greet, with a potential pet sitter prior to booking services.
Because professional pet sitters come to clients’ homes, pets’ routines are uninterrupted, exposure to illness is minimized, and they don’t experience the stress of a new environment. Leashes To Leads Pet Care LLC is also able to care for a wide variety of pets: cats, dogs, reptiles, birds, exotics, fish, horses and livestock. Pet owners have peace-of-mind that their pets are well cared for while they are away.
Finding a pet sitter you trust allows you to leave home truly worry-free. To learn more about Leashes To Leads Pet Care LLC, visit www.leashestoleads.com or call 352-266-1526. To learn about PSI or download a free pet-sitter interview checklist, visit www.petsit.com.