Should I Choose A Pet Sitter Based On Price?

Budget often plays a significant role in making decisions: Can you really afford the minivan or should you opt for the compact car? Should you buy the designer jeans or generic jeans? Everyone has a budget; some have larger budgets than others.

But, some decisions should never be based on price alone. Never choose a pet sitter, for example, based on price alone. To ensure you hire the best professional pet sitter for your pets’ care, also take into consideration the following factors:

How experienced is the pet sitter?

Ask the prospective pet sitter plenty of questions to ensure they have sufficient experience to care for your pet(s). How many years have they worked as a pet sitter? If you have pets who require specialized care – such as a turtle, a rabbit, or a parrot – does the pet sitter have experience with that type of pet? Or, if they do not, are they willing to learn? Find out as much as you can about the pet sitter’s experience.

Does the pet sitter have a solid reputation?

The pet sitter may seem like the perfect match on paper – or on the computer screen – but what do their current and former clients think of them? Would they hire this person again? What do they like best about their pet sitting service? Are there any downsides to working with the pet sitter? Most pet sitters include testimonials on their website but if you can also ask for and receive references, contact those references.

Is the pet sitter a professional?  

You must work with a professional pet sitter if you want to ensure your pets’ and your home’s safety. A professional holds sufficient insurance to protect you and your pets. For your peace of mind, they will also be background checked. Be sure to ask your sitter if you can see the documentation for insurance and the background check, or get the phone number so that you can call the agency to be sure. You should also be required to sign a contract outlining the details of the pet sitting agreement, such as the cost of each pet sitting visit, typical length of each visit, your responsibilities when hiring a pet sitter, and the pet sitter’s responsibilities.

What does each pet sitting visit include?

A professional pet sitter generally meets with prospective clients – and their pets – prior to scheduling pet sitting appointments to ensure the pet sitter is a good fit. During that initial meet and greet, you will likely discuss your expectations of the pet sitter, such as how you expect your pets to be cared for, when they should be fed, and instructions for medication, if applicable.

Be sure to ask the pet sitter what happens in case the sitter cannot make the appointment due to an emergency. Will a backup pet sitter care for your pets? (If the answer to that is “no,” you probably want to find another pet sitter.) If your pet becomes ill or injured, will the pet sitter call you immediately or will you give permission for the pet sitter to take your pet to the veterinarian?

Should you choose a pet sitter based on price? The short answer is “no.” Consider price but also make sure you learn as much as you can about the pet sitter’s experience, professionalism, and service before choosing the best pet sitter for your needs.

How big of a role does price play when you choose a pet sitter?