pet sitter
The best pet sitters get to know your pet. (Getty Images)

Pet parents looking to get away after spending so much time home amid Covid-19 restrictions may need to seek out a pet sitter to care for their furry family members.

Finding a reputable caregiver requires some due diligence. Here are a few tips to get started. 

“There’s a lot to consider when choosing the right pet sitter for your needs,” says Patrice Maresca, owner of My Comfy Petsitting Services in Franklin Square.  

First things first: Do your research. Maresca suggests finding a dog sitter through word of mouth or through references when possible.  

“Don’t just Google ‘pet sitters’ and click on the first link — anyone can set up a website,” she says. “For a legitimate online resource, visit Pet Sitters International (PSI), where you’ll find experienced sitters, many certified in pet first aid and CPR.”

A good pet sitter will spend time with potential clients to go over key points including daily routines, medications, behaviors with other people and with other animals. 

“Some people are lax in understanding how much loving work goes into pet sitting,” says Maresca. “The best pet sitters are those who have a passion for what they do, that take the time to form a bond with each pet. Many animals experience anxiety when their owner isn’t around, so you need someone who will understand how to best comfort your animal when you’re not there.” 

This is vital not only for your pet, but for your peace of mind when you are away from home. And if you’re planning on hiring a pet sitter for when you travel, make sure your sitter knows the lay of the land, has extra sets of keys, knows the alarm code, and has all the necessary phone numbers including your veterinarian and close family members/neighbors as well.  

“Be sure to ask about their other clients too,” says Maresca. “Pet sitters often have multiple clients and go house-to-house, sometimes without changing their clothes or even washing their hands. If people in the home have allergies to cats, dogs, etc., pet sitters may be bringing in fur and dander from other clients, which can be rather problematic.”

Whomever you choose to watch your furry family member should share the love and compassion you have for your animal. This is not just about putting a leash on a dog or feeding a cat; this is about providing care and comfort when it’s needed the most — your absence.  

For more information about My Comfy Petsitting Services, contact Patrice at 516-616-6236.

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