How to Find a Pet Sitter in 2022
How to Find a Pet Sitter in 2022
The travel industry is projecting a busy summer travel season for 2022. More travel means more pets need pet sitters. But dog walkers and pet sitters have been hard hit in the pandemic, even with the increase in pandemic pets, because we were all home and able to provide 100% of our pets’ needs. Dog walking and pet sitter services contracted significantly during the pandemic peak. Now, like every other business, the pet service industry is having trouble predicting consumer demand and staffing needs. So, when looking for a pet sitter this summer, be sure to plan and ahead and don’t hesitate to get creative in a pinch.
Finding a Pet Sitter
My sister told me about her pet sitting woes a couple of weeks ago. Because everyone in her neighborhood is going to be away at the same time, the usual neighbors were not available to pet sit. She solved her pet sitting problem by pet sitter sharing. Her neighbor’s dog has a live-in dog sitter, and that sitter will be coming over daily to feed, medicate and make sure my niece’s cat is well cared for.
A friend of mine solved her pet sitting need by offering one of her son’s friends a place to stay and good internet service for remote working in exchange for dog sitting. Check your neighborhood or town Facebook page for pet sitter recommendations or advertisements. If you are planning to board your pet while you are away, book early. Remember veterinary hospitals are still very busy caring for pandemic pets and may need cage space for patients rather than boarders.
The Benefits of a Professional Pet Sitter
If you worry about finding a reliable sitting among your friends or family, or if your pet has special caretaking needs, a professional pet sitter may be the best option for pet care while you’re away. A professional pet sitter will have experience with animals of all different breeds, species, ages, and medical conditions and be trained in basic pet first aid, including medication administration, while a good pet sitting agency will offer back-up in case your normal sitter gets sick and financial protection in the unfortunate event of an accident or mishap. “You really get what you pay for,” says Chun-Soon Li of Brooklyn-based ProspectBark, a pet care agency with more than a decade of experience in New York City.
If you need help finding a professional sitter, try these resources:
Setting the Sitter up for Success
Before you hit the road, make sure the pet sitter has all the information, equipment and supplies needed to take care of your favorite fur person. Your list should include your contact information, food, medications and a medication schedule. Don’t forget to leave out the grooming supplies. My sister’s cat sitter will be staying for an hour to brush and socialize with the cat. In this case, the brush needs to be readily available. One of my more creative clients has a floorplan of her apartment carefully marked with the cat’s hiding places so the cat sitter can find the elusive beast and confirm that she is ok.
Planning for an Emergency
Make sure the carrier is out in case there is the need for an unexpected trip to the veterinarian. Alert your veterinarian’s office to your travel plans and consider having an advanced treatment directive in case you cannot be reached in an emergency. Attach the veterinarian’s business card to the carrier and the card of the closest emergency clinic to make sure your pet is taken to the facility you prefer.
With a bit of planning, your pet will have a fun and safe “staycation” while the human family members enjoy the opportunity to travel once again.