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Questions To Ask Before Hiring a Pet Sitting Company

 

Pet Sitters International (PSI) is the governing body of the pet sitting world and is recognized as the worldwide authority in our industry. We are proud of our PSI membership.

PSI provides potential pet sitting clients plenty of tips for conducting a professional pet sitter interview and choosing the right sitter for your pet. We have listed their Q&A along with our personal reply to help you make the most informed decision for the care of your pet(s).

We hope these questions and answers will make your search for your pet sitter simpler.

1. Does the pet sitter (or agency) keep regular office hours?

PSI Suggests: A Professional pet sitter should have a schedule of office hours. A larger business may have additional personnel to answer phone calls or e-mails.
Paws-itively Purr-fect’s Practice: We are accessible 24/7, 365 days per year. Feel free to call our office (305-858-4419) anytime. If you do not reach us, call Jane’s cell phone (786-205-0137).

2. If you left a message inquiring about services, how soon was it returned?

PSI Suggests: All phone calls should be returned within 24 hours.
Paws-itively Purr-fect’s Practice: We usually return emails and phone calls the same day–usually within a few hours.

3. How much notice does the pet sitter (or agency) need in order to schedule your request for a pet sitter?

PSI Suggests: Most pet sitters request at least two weeks’ notice, but may be able to accommodate an occasional short-notice assignment. Sometimes there is an additional charge for short-notice assignments.
Paws-itively Purr-fect’s Practice: Last-minute emergencies happen. In fact, we often handle last-minute requests with no problem. This is just one thing that sets us apart. And we do NOT charge extra for reservations or cancellations made less than 24 hours in advance.

4. Does the pet sitter (or agency) have established fees for pet care they can quote over the phone and/or in company literature?

PSI Suggests: A professional pet sitter should have a published list of fees that cover the most common pet-care requests. Fees for special services may be worked out on a case-by-case basis.
Paws-itively Purr-fect’s Practice: You can read all about our fee structure on this website by clicking on the “Service and Fees” tab above. Nothing, however, is set in stone as we recognize different animals require different care. We will customize and create the perfect solution to make certain your pet is properly cared for while you are away.

5. Is the pet sitter bonded and insured?

PSI Suggests: Ask for proof of coverage. PSI members have access to group rates on policies specifically for pet sitters and are provided insurance cards.
Paws-itively Purr-fect’s Practice: We are completely insured and bonded through Business Insurers of the Carolinas.

6. Does the pet sitter meet with you and your pet(s) in advance? Is there a charge for this in-home meeting?Cat Interview

PSI Suggests: Initial interviews allow the pet sitter to meet with you in your home, interact with your pets, and discuss services and business policies. These visits are highly recommended for both pet owner and pet sitter. Some pet sitters offer this service at no charge, while others charge a nominal fee for their time and travel expenses.
Paws-itively Purr-fect’s Practice: We offer complimentary play dates and meet-and-greets on all our services. This is your chance to get to know the sitter in person in your home. We do not require any commitment before you meet your sitter.

7. How much experience does the pet sitter have in caring for your particular type of pet?

PSI Suggests: Experience in caring for special needs pets or unusual types of pets is helpful if that is what you need. Pet sitters who have completed PSI’s Accreditation Program have the resources on hand to care for a wide variety of companion animal species.
Paws-itively Purr-fect’s Practice: We have plenty of experience caring for all types of animals with all types of needs. We know how to administer pills or shots, if necessary. We follow your directions down to the smallest detail. Your pet will always be in good hands with us!

8. Does the pet sitter willingly and happily provide references?

PSI Suggests: PSI recommends that all of its members have a list of references for potential clients to contact.
Paws-itively Purr-fect’s Practice: We come highly recommended with a list of past client references. Feel free to call or email a satisfied client who will speak to you directly on our behalf. Several of our long-time clients have provided their reviews on the “Testimonials” Page.

9. Does the pet sitter use a service contract that spells out services performed and fees for doing so?

PSI Suggests: A well-written contract outlines the details associated with each service the sitter will provide. The contract includes all fees along with the expected amount of time that will be spent with your pet(s). This ensures that both you and your sitter have agreed upon and understand the level of service being provided in your absence.
Paws-itively Purr-fect’s Practice: We provide a thorough service agreement that is completed prior to your trip. This is our chance to get all the necessary information that will enable us to care for your pet(s) in the best possible way. The agreement has a place for emergency contacts, vet and emergency info, special instructions, and your pet(s) likes and dislikes.

10. How much time does the pet sitter spend in your home to care for your pet(s)?

PSI Suggests: The average in-home visit to care for one pet is 30 minutes, but additional time may be required if you request special services or have a multi-pet household.
Paws-itively Purr-fect’s Practice: Our standard pet sit visit is 30 minutes, and we guarantee the we will spend the entire time keeping your pet(s) company with all the love, playtime, and affection your pet(s) can handle! We will also make sure your home is in better condition than the way you left it.

11. What contingency plan does the pet sitter have in the event of inclement weather or natural disaster while caring for your pet(s)?

PSI Suggests: Every professional pet sitter should have a written Disaster Plan that addresses natural or man-made disasters, as well as a contingency plan to provide for your pet’s care if anything prevents the sitter from completing the assignment.
Paws-itively Purr-fect’s Practice: In an emergency, we always have backups for our pet sitters. We also have a written hurricane disaster plan available on our website at miamipetsitter.com/hurricanepreparedness.

12. What does the pet sitter do if medical care is needed for your pet?

PSI Suggests: Arrangements should be made with your veterinarian and/or local emergency veterinary clinic to allow the sitter to seek medical attention for your pet while you are away.
Paws-itively Purr-fect’s Practice: We require you to provide your Vet’s name and address. We ask that you provide your Vet with your credit card information in case of an emergency.

13. What are the payment terms?

PSI Suggests: Some pet sitters require payment in full for first-time customers while others require a deposit upon reservation and balance paid at the end of the assignment. There is no industry standard for payment terms, so be sure you understand in advance the terms of the pet sitting business you utilize.
Paws-itively Purr-fect’s Practice: We ask that you pay the full amount for your pet sits no later than the first day of service; however, we will work out different payment arrangements, as necessary.

14. During the in-home interview, does the pet sitter exhibit a positive attitude and seem comfortable and competent in caring for your pet(s)?

PSI Suggests: A positive attitude goes hand in hand with experience when it comes to in-home pet care. As a result, you can feel at ease and look forward to the pet care a professional pet sitter provides.
Paws-itively Purr-fect’s Practice: From the moment you meet us, you will notice our upbeat and positive attitude. We always go out of our way to ensure your comfort. and you will quickly experience this during our complimentary play dates.

Have More Questions? Ready to Reserve? Contact Us Today!