Professional Pet Sitters week may be over, but we always want to keep the conversation going about what it means to be a professional pet sitter; what you should expect from one and the advantages of hiring one. Let’s start with the definition of a pet sitter. In 1997, Patti Moran was successfully added “pet sitting” to the Random House Dictionary with the following definition “the act of caring for a pet in its own home while the owner is away”.
In a nutshell, that’s what we do best! Pet sitting includes the actual care the pet gets while their pet parent is away (feeding, giving medications, playing, etc), but it also includes dog walking as well “since it involves coming to the pet’s home to provide exercise and companionship." according to www.petsit.com.
So what does it mean to be a professional pet sitter? It means that we have chosen this as our career. We have dedicated ourselves to the betterment of our clients’ pets. And while a love for pets is a perfect way to start, it takes much more than that. There are so many things we need to learn and study to become the best professional pet sitters we can be (and the learning never ends).
We study animal behavior, best practices, the needs of different species of pets, signs to look for if something seems off, pet safety, personal safety, differences between various pet products/brands, plus the nitty gritty business and legal details. A professional pet sitter will dedicate themselves to excellence, continued education and great customer service. They will also be bonded, insured, have a local business license, client contracts, certifications in pet care/behavior/etc and have chosen pet sitting as their main job.
Ryan and I have taken our quest knowledge even further and have become Certified Professional Pet Sitters (CPPS) through Pet Sitters International (PSI). What does a CPPS entail? To “maintain the CPPS-Certified Professional Pet Sitter designation, pet sitters must:
What then should you expect from a professional pet sitter? A professional pet sitter will require a meet-and-greet before service begins so they can get to know you and your pet, as well as ensure they are the correct fit for your needs. Typically a meet-and-greet will last about an hour in which the sitter will ask many questions like, what is your pet's usual routine? What are they afraid of? Where does your cat hide? How is your dog on leash? What is your pet allergic to? How does your dog react to seeing other dogs on the walk? How do they react to loud noises? Any many more.
A professional sitter will also be willing and able so show any credentials they have such as business license, insurance, CPPS and more. And a professional sitter will also have a contract ready for you before the meet-and-greet or will be presented at the meeting.
This is the time for you to ask any questions you have and a professional sitter should be willing to answer any of them. We really want to form a relationship with you and your pet for many years to come, and we want you to be completely comfortable with us in your home and caring for your pets. You are entrusting us with some of your most precious things, your pets and your home and we take that very seriously.
What are the advantages of hiring a professional pet sitter? Including all the things above, a professional pet sitter provides peace of mind that your pet is in the best hands and will be cared for as you have instructed while you are away. If something were to go wrong, a professional pet sitter will immediately communicate with you and take necessary immediate action. A professional pet sitter will often go above and beyond for the pets they are caring for, simply because we love what we do!
Jennifer, CPPS has loved caring for animals since childhood, and she’s had quite a few throughout the years. From cats to dogs, to birds, hamsters, fish, guinea pigs, and even a horse; she’s had more four-legged family members than two legged ones!