- Is the Company you are considering an actual Professional Company?
You don’t want cowboys looking after your pets or someone that does it for fun because they like animals as it is unlikely that their primary concern will be your pet’s wellbeing. Find out if the person you are hiring is a company, a registered business, is full-time and is fully committed to their business. With a company that is professional and what they do full time, then that’s what puts food on the table and they are committed to making you their top priority.
- Are they insured?
One of the differences between a hobbyist and a professional pet sitting company is insurance. It’s unlikely that you will need this insurance but you wouldn’t have a home without insurance so why would you consider hiring someone who doesn’t insure themselves.
- Can you find them on the internet or social media?
Every company these days should have an online presence. Are they on Facebook, Instagram? Do they have a website where you can read reviews? If they are then what are people saying about them, are they updating their pages and do they respond quickly via facebook if you should want to get hold of them.
- A professional company plans and has polices and procedures
A professional company will have terms and conditions available for you to read and sign before any service starts. Such things like when payment is due, how do bookings and cancellations work. Don’t hire anyone without reading a set of terms and conditions!!
- Who works for the company
This is important to find out because you wouldn’t want to hire a “lone ranger” someone with out back up plans. Who would look after your pets if they got sick or injured?
- What happens during a visit and how long is it?
Now that you have read the terms and conditions where does it say in writing what will happen during the visit and how long will the visit be? Not all pet sitting services are created equally and you will need to ask what will happen during the service so that you can decide if they are a good fit for you. The meet and greet is a great time to go over routines and requirements.
- How is all your personal information stored?
You are handing over access to your home, your security codes, your pets and all your personal details to someone be sure you know how those will be stored. Think about it, if it was all written down in a diary or notebook that someone could loose and someone else access what would that mean to you! Find out what is the key storage and security policy.
- How will you know if the service actually happens?
It’s pretty awful to be away from home and have that dull ache of worry about whether your pets are fed and your home locked and secure. Ask how the sitter will communicate with you and who is making sure the job gets done. Photos and texts, Facebook messages, pet care journals etc are all great options.