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Hiring A Pet Sitter vs. A Friend or Family Member

Hiring A Pet Sitter VS. A Friend Or Family Member

Hiring a pet sitter vs. a friend or family member seems to always be a dilemma for pet parents. What s the best way to go?

Think about this―would you hire your inexperienced and untrained friend or family member to install a new HVAC system in your home? Of course, you wouldn’t!

Do you truly love your pet? Of course, you do! Then why would you ever consider hiring a non-professional friend or family member to take care of them?

In this post, I will talk about hiring a pet sitter versus a friend or family member. I’ll outline the reasons why you may want to think twice about hiring a non-professional to care for your pet when you have to be away. Lots of pet parents do this. Why?

  • Maybe it’s just to avoid the expense.
  • Perhaps it just seems like the easy thing to do
  • It might be a trust issue—not wanting an unrelated pet sitter in the home.
  • Or, maybe it’s simply the need is so new that it hasn’t been thought about

Whatever your particular reason might be, it may not be the best idea to entrust your best friend to a non-professional. Simply put, the risks to your pet and your own liability aren’t worth it.

Save Money? Probably Not, Here Are 3 Reasons Why:

  • First off, your friend or relative will soon tire of doing this “favor” for you if you lean on them too often. Their time has value. They will feel “taken for granted” if they are not paid well for their time. They will think of you as a cheapskate, and you will think they always have their hand out. It’s a no-win arrangement―a surefire recipe to ruin a relationship.
  • Secondly, the odds are good that your relative or friend does not have the skills and training needed to handle pet emergencies. True, things like dog fights, bites (other pets or people), accidents, etc., don’t always happen, but it only takes one occurrence to cause you a lot of grief―financial or even the loss of your pet.
  • Thirdly, it’s doubtful that your friend, your friend’s kid, your cousin Vinny, or any other non-professional will always be available whenever you need them. When that happens, you will have to change your plans, which will be upsetting and probably cost you dearly.

It’s the Easy Thing To Do―Not!

  • Easy for you but not for them. It’s a burden for them. They have to be there for the pet’s needs. This usually means checking on, feeding, walking, and cleaning up after the pet at least twice a day. You may even want them to house sit, so your pet is not alone. They may do this for you once or twice, but more often than that will probably not work out.
  • Your friend or relative may not be all that reliable or punctual. What do you think will happen when they don’t show up, and your pet gets lonely, hungry, thirsty, scared, or needs to exercise and potty? In a word―disaster!
  • What about properly walking your dog when you’re gone? Will your friend or relative do that? Will they do it safely? Will they be able to handle an emergency? What if your dog gets away from them? Are they bonded and insured to protect your pet and you? The “what ifs” are many, but the solution is simple―hire a qualified professional.

Is Trust An Issue for You? Then:

  • Always hire a well-trained, bonded, and insured pet sitter. Get to know them well.
  • Ask to see credentials―business license, contact information, insurance, proof of bond, animal CPR training, veterinary release form, etc.
  • Get a copy of your signed contract.
  • Get references from real clients that you can call.
  • Do a legal background check or BBB reference on the business.

New Pet, New Need?

  • Think about and plan for your pet’s needs when you must be away.
  • Hire a professional to help you train and care for your pet.
  • Your pet may be a loving, breathing, tail wagging best bud, but the law considers him or her to be your property and your responsibility. Be sure to leave your pet in responsible, reliable hands when you aren’t there.

You would not hire a non-professional to work on your plumbing. So, why would you ever put your pet’s wellbeing in the hands of a non-professional? It’s my sincerest hope this short article has shown you just how risky it is for your pet, for you, and for your friend or relative to care for your pet in comparison to hiring a professional pet sitter.

To learn more about hiring a pet sitter, read our blog post “8 Questions To Ask When Hiring A Pet Sitter”!


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