Who will YOU entrust the care of your pets to?

Thursday, March 7, 2019

My husband and I run Carol’s Contented Critters, a successful & professional pet sitting business.  Originally from the Southern end of the Gold Coast, in Queensland, we have recently moved to the Northern end in early 2019.

There is an alarming trend surfacing of both national and international businesses producing websites that offer the profiles of pet sitters who will either board your pets privately or do visitations in YOUR home whilst you are away on holiday.

Many “would-be” pet sitters have jumped on board to sign up with these businesses, in order to offer their services. On the outset this appears fine but let’s take a closer look at why you should be dubious about hiring such pet sitters.

1.  Many are students or part-time workers looking to make a quick buck in what they perceive as an “easy money maker”. These folk, in general, are inexperienced with the behaviours associated with different breeds and juggling multiple animals living together. They lack the innate understanding of animal behaviour and how to correct undesirable behaviours. Many are unable to be available 24/7 should a problem arise, say your pet becomes unwell and needs a trip to the vet. It seems being an “animal lover” or having “owned a dog” makes them “experts” in their field and is enough for these websites to take them on… why? Because these websites are all about making a living off the back of everyone else’s hard work, including independent businesses from whom they have copied much of their content. Most can wash their hands of any problems that may arise from such uncommitted and inexperienced operators, leaving the pet owner high and dry in the event of say a medical emergency, an escaped pet or a problem with their property maintenance or security.

2.  Most of these businesses offer no cover for you, the pet owner. If you choose a stranger from their website to visit your home to care for your pet/s whilst away, does the individual pet sitter offer:

  • public liability insurance?
  • annually renewed National Police Checks for your safety?
  • a long history of pet care on a professional level?
  • verifiable references/testimonials?
  • a strong network of allied professional colleagues in the event of an accident or emergency, either relating to your property or your pet/s? Do they display the common sense and reliability needed in such an event to carry through?
  • the common sense needed when walking your dog/s in public places, either on the lead or leash-free, to avoid potential risks to your dog/s?
  • are they able to administer oral, topical & sub-cutaneous medications reliably and correctly?
  • are they going to provide your fur babies with the correct diet?
  • are they able to provide photographic/video proof of their management of your pets in a safe and happy environment?

*  A reputable pet sitter will have an excellent reputation which can be proven several times over (not just a couple of “reviews” placed on the website by their best friends/family members).

*  A reputable pet sitter will have risk management practices in place to cope with any difficulties that may arise.

*  Most of all, a reputable pet sitter will be offering their services 24/7 (not just in between uni classes, or on their days off from work). They will show your fur baby all the love you would, if not more, giving the reassurance he/she needs to relax and be anxiety-free and contented on your break away from them. Many of our returning doggy/puss cat clients come running to the front door when we visit them because they KNOW they are loved and safe in our care … it’s wonderful to see we are still fixed in their minds as pet carers full of love, fun and security!!

Stay well and safe fellow pet lovers!!

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