How to pick a pet-friendly business with confidence
With so many pet businesses and service dotting the landscape these days, itís hard to know which one is the right one for you and your pet. Follow our handy tips to help you decide when to say yay, when to say nay, and when to just do it yourself.
Daycare and Pet Sitting
When youíre searching for a reliable daycare or in-home sitter for your pet consider the following:
- Screening and security should be top on your list of things to do when looking for a pet sitter. Start by getting references from friends, neighbors, and co-workers.
- Interview the pet sitter before you hire her. And use this time to check on things like whether she is on time and asks lots thoughtful questions about your pet.
- Ask the pet sitter if she knows pet first aid and CPR. It is up to you whether such knowledge is a requirement for the position.
- Ask if the pet sitter is a pet parent herself, or if sheís ever been one. Nobody knows how to take care of your furry loved ones quite like other pet parents.†Make sure visits can be at least 15 minutes.
- Be sure the pet sitter is bonded if she is part of a business with other staff members. She should also be†certifiedĖĖThe National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) offers a certification program where pet sitters can take a course in such topics as animal care and health issues.
- When it comes to a daycare, seek out a place that screens all animals for both health concerns and temperament.
- Look for a facility whose employees are good with both people and dogs.
- Make sure the daycare has more than one room. Itís not always a good idea to put really big dogs in the same room with the tiny ones.
- Make sure staff are in the room (or at the very least, within close hearing distance) with your pet 100 percent of the time they are at daycare.
- Check on any licenses the daycare has. While this varies from state to state, if the daycare also boards animals it should have a kennel license.
- Run a check on a daycare or pet sitter with the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been any complaints reported.
Consider looking elsewhere if you observe any of the following:
- They donít want to meet your pet or they donít seem to interact with him or get down on the ground to play.
- During the interview, you do more talking than they do. Shyness aside, a good pet sitter or daycare provider asks lots of questions about your pet, his habits, allergies, etc.
- They donít have adequate staff to deal with the amount of dogs in their care.
- Staff seem overwhelmed by the dogs and arenít interacting with them.
- Both big and small dogs are kept in one room.
- They donít keep an adequate amount of bowls filled with water in each room.
Good sitters and daycare options are readily available, but if youíre in a bind try the following:
- Find a reliable neighbor who might come in and feed your pet, or even take her for a walk.
- Speak to your vet; sometimes vet technicians are looking for ways to supplement their income and wonít mind looking in on your pet while youíre gone.
- If feeding is an issue while youíre gone for the day you can buy an automatic feeder with a timer that opens the top to allow your pet access to his food.