With a lot of people getting away after the Christmas festivities for a well earned winter break, it tends to be a busy time of the year for pet sitters. The problem many people are faced with is finding a responsible and trustworthy person to look after a beloved pet can prove challenging and it needs serious consideration.
If you are lucky enough to have found someone you can trust, then all is well, but if it's the first time you've decided to use a pet sitter rather than take your pet along to a boarding kennel or cattery, it's a good idea to have a trial run with a pet sitter before you actually leave the country.
Organising a trial run is a great way of judging whether you've chosen the right person to look after your pet, whether cat, dog or other small animal. There will be obvious tell-tale signs if things are working out or if the person is just not up to the job. Getting away for two days and leaving them in charge of your pet allows you to see if the person is responsible enough to look after them. Below is a list of things to check when you get back which are signs things may not have gone as smoothly as they should while you were away:
Water bowls need to be cleaned out on a daily basis and replenished with fresh clean water. If you find your pet's bowl has not be wiped over or in a worst case scenario, there's not a drop of water in it, this is a sure sign the pet sitter has not been as attentive to your pet's needs as they should have been.
The same goes for food bowls, these need to be washed every time your pet has eaten their food. If you find there is dry looking food in their bowl, it's a sure sign the pet sitter has not cleaned the bowl out as they should have done as soon as your pet has finished eating.
If you find that when you come home from your short stay away, your normally clean pet has had an accident or two around the home, it could be because your pet sitter did let them out or take them for a walk in a timely fashion. If they are looking after a indoor cat, the chances are the pet sitter has not cleaned out a litter tray and therefore your pet would not want to use it, preferring to do their "business" elsewhere in the house.
If you find that your pet sitter has emptied your fridge and done other things around your house which they should not have, it's a clear sign they have not shown any respect for your belongings and property. If they are not willing to show respect for your property, then maybe they are not responsible enough to look after your beloved pet either.
When you return from a few days away and find your pet seems more nervous than usual, the chances are something has happened to make them behave this way which could mean the pet sitter has not been that nice to them. They may even have frightened your pet and that is totally unacceptable.
Even if your pet has been injured very slightly and the pet sitter claims it was an accident, it's time to look for another person who hopefully would be more caring and careful when looking after your pet. Any sort of injury has to be taken very seriously no matter how insignficant it may be.
To avoid any upset or awkwardness, it's far better to deal with a bad pet sitter in a positive way and not to get angry with them. The most important thing is to never let them look after your pet again, after all it's your pet's well-being that's the most important thing and if you even suspect things have not been "quite right", it's better to look for someone else rather than leave a bad pet sitter in charge again.
It's really important to be able to trust a person when you leave a beloved pet in their charge, no matter what sort of animal you share your home with. It's far better to have a trial run with a new pet sitter by going away for a couple of days and leaving them in charge than to go away for longer only to come home and find a pet has not been well cared for in your absense.