Top 3 Mistakes People Make When Hiring a Pet Sitter
Look for a Company that will give you
Peace of Mind and Safety
Here are 3 things to avoid when hiring a pet sitter
Author, Dorinne Whynott, Owner of Professional Pet Sitting Etc.
There are very few pet sitting companies across the United States, that have been around as long as our company. Over the past decades, many clients have called us, stating that they were apprehensive to try a pet sitter again because they had had a horrible experience.
The stories you will read below,
to clients in NH that are
now using our service after their ordeal.
Here are the top 3 Mistakes these clients made:
1. Going By Price
We all understand that money is an important factor in everyone’s life. However, just like everything, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR and pet sitting is no different. The main reasons most pet sitters are charging a low price is inexperience, not being in business long, no insurance, trying to make money fast, and no background.
You want to hire a professional pet sitter and have peace of mind along with security. To have those things, a professional pet sitting company has to have certain things in their company. See Top 10 Things to look for in a Pet Sitting Company
- Registered as a legal business in the state – to do business in NH the business must be registered in the state, they must pay a registration fee and fill out paperwork.
- Liability insurance – any person or business coming on your property to do anything MUST have and pay for liability insurance. If not, if they get hurt on your property, YOU and YOUR insurance will pay out. Check your State.
- Bonding – Anyone who has a business with employees who will be entrusted with your home and pets, should have and pay for bonding insurance
- Payroll taxes & Workers Comp. for employees – if you want to have a company that controls the quality of care provided to your pets, then you want a company that has policies and procedures to do that and the only way that can happen is if they have employees.
- WEBSITE – Make sure they have a website and a full owner history with owner name on the site. They can also have a Facebook page but they should also have a website. Anyone can start a facebook page. A person that is serious about pet sitting will also have a website with their FULL history and FULL name.
To have all of the above, the national average price range for the up to a half hour visits is 24 – 36 per visit. We are a very large company and fortunate enough to cover everything and still be on the lower end for cost. You receive much more than just the service you request from a Professional Pet Sitting Company. Companies like ours, really check out their sitters, they train them, they check and make sure that visits are done. Smaller, cheaper, companies do not have the manpower or the time to ensure visits are done.
What a client told us happened to them when they used a very cheap pet sitting company that used ICs (companies that use ICs can be cheaper because they do not have the expense of payroll taxes, worker’s comp., etc.) –
- The IC was sent to the home to care for the dogs as instructed (ICs can not be told what to do, or be controlled, research the Federal Law for ICs). She did the first two visits. On the second day, this IC decided to have a dinner party in the client’s home. Yes, you heard right, a dinner party! She placed the dog in the basement. Made the dinner, used the client’s candles and china. Guests arrived, ate, mingled and left. IC then somewhat cleaned up, put the china in the dishwasher (NOT dishwasher safe), never replaced burned candles. When the client came home, she found her dog in the basement. The dog was fine and did have food and water but she NEVER put her dog in the basement. Her neighbor proceeded to tell her what went on in her home and as the client looked around it was confirmed with the evidence she found. As the client was telling me, I asked if she told the company owner. She replied No, I am not confrontational, I just will not ever use them again!! But that means, it could happen again.
- Another was using a company for Mid Day Dog Walking and suspected that no one was coming, so she changed the locks on her home without notifying the sitter. After two days, the owner called sitter to see how things were going with her dog. The sitter said everything was going fine walking her dog!!!
- Here is an article on what happened when a person used a trusted neighbor – House of Horrors after Dream Vacation
2. Choosing a Hobby Pet Sitter
These are pet sitters who may charge close to a Professional Pet Sitting company but many are just under in price and do not do any of the above.
- They have no overhead and therefore you are not protected if any happens.
- May or may not be registered, bonded or insured
- Website has little to no information
- No owner history
- Pet sitting is not available to you 365 days per year
- They do pet sitting on the side for fun, maybe to make a few extra bucks.
- They may be nice people and do a good job but this is not a priority business for them.
- If they are charging under the National average, chances are they are not carrying the proper insurances, etc.
- Also, there is no one to check up on them to ensure they went to your home nor is there any one making sure they are who they say they are.
- Many times you are left hanging if they get a full time job, go on vacation, get sick.
- No emergency Backup system in place when something happens to them.
What a client told us about their neighbor who had used a Hobby Pet Sitter-
- A hobby pet sitter was caring for a person’s dog and she fell down the stairs in the back of the dog owner’s home. She had severe back injuries and sued the dog owner and the home insurance because she had no insurance.
- Here is an article about a Hobby Sitter who took dogs into her home. Any time a dogs is taken out of a home it is classified as boarding. He Dropped his dog off at the sitter…..
Hobby Pet Sitters love sites like Craigslist –
Here is what a Client told us happened to them after using a pet sitter on sites like Craigslist, Sittercity, Rover, etc.
These sites are just paid advertising sites for people who want to make quick money with no overhead. These sites may say these people have insurance but no one checks to make sure. The site just takes the payees word for whatever they say.
- The client came home to find the sitter passed out on their couch. All liquor in the house had been drunk. She had vomited on the master bed. The dog had accidents all over the home.
- The client had used a sitter who only took cash. She stayed 5 minutes at each visit
3. Asking Kids, Friends, Relatives, Neighbors and Co-workers
These are people that you know and this may make you feel great.
- They may help you as a favor to you but do they really know your pets?
- Will they really come every day as you asked, 3-4 times in a day?
- Will they forget to come? Will they forget any medications?
- Will they really care for your pets as you want them to be cared for?
- Will they know what to do in an emergency with your pet?
- What happens if they have an emergency?
- If your friend, neighbor, relative, etc. makes a mistake, misses a visit, doe not give medication, etc will your relationship with stand that mistake?
What client’s have told us about what happened to them using kids, friends, relatives and neighbors-
- We have had people tell us that their neighbor’s child had a party with friends in their home
- A neighbor couldn’t stand the litter box, so they just didn’t clean it.
- A neighbor became ill and didn’t feel well enough to do the night visit for the dog, so the dog went to the bathroom in the kitchen.
- A friend did not come for the night visits to let out the dogs and give medications. The dog’s were VERY eager to go out the next morning when our sitter got there, but because the dog did not get his medication the night before, some of his minor symptoms were apparent. Thankfully, they went away when he was back on his medication.
If you want Peace of Mind and want to ensure that your pets are well cared for, please research your pet sitter. Ask questions, read what is on their websites.
If you are considering a Pet Sitting Company, here are a few links to help you:
Never hesitate to call me if ever you have any questions before or after finding a pet sitter. You do not need to use my service for me to help you with ideas or suggestions on your pets’ behavior or finding a pet sitter. If I can help give you an idea to keep you and your pets safe, it will make me happy.
About the Owner/Author
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