Dog sitting has become a popular way to get some extra cash while hanging out with one earth’s greatest creatures – dogs! But how do you know if you are hiring a good dog sitter? You know you want someone who is going to ensure your dog’s safety, using the same level of care that you use when caring for your dog. You want to know there will be openness and honesty from your dog sitter. And of course, you want to trust that they will show your dog love and kindness.
But how do you know that the person you are hiring can be trusted to measure up to these standards?
Before you hire someone, try to get referrals from friends, your local pet store, or your veterinarian. If you find someone online then read through the reviews – negative as well as the positive.
Next step: the smell test. Ever notice that your dog unexpectedly doesn’t like someone. That is their instinct kicking in. Their smell test, if you will. So, first and foremost, meet your potential sitter. If you don’t feel comfortable from the start, always trust your instincts. It doesn’t matter if you are wrong – although you will never know. But, if you don’t trust your gut and you were right, then it will matter, and it will be too late.
Once you get past the smell test, start asking some questions.
Find out where they will be taking your dog and how. What safety measures do they have in place? If using a leash, are they using their leash or yours and, either way, will the dog have any chance of slipping out of the lead or collar? For example, at Groovytown Dog Lodge we offer off-leash walks but we still use dog leads during pick-ups and drop-offs of our day hikers. We choose to use our leashes for this as we use slip leads that do not rely on a dog’s collar being properly fitted.
Will the dog sitter have your dog around other dogs? Do they know these other dogs and is the dog sitter sure they are friendly? Are they up to date on their vaccinations?
What are the dog sitter’s emergency protocols for injuries and/or health issues? Do they have training in pet first aid?
There are a lot of variables that can make you feel overwhelmed by the process. However, a prepared and safety-conscious sitter will have thought about these concerns and will be happy discuss these concerns.
Ultimately, no matter how much care you take, here is always going to be some risk of something happening – and this is true whether your dog is with you are your sitter. What you want to know is if your sitter is careful enough to avoid the avoidable and prepared enough for the unavoidable.
Here at Groovytown Dog Lodge, just outside of Kington, Ontario, we have taken these concerns to heart. We care for our guests like they were our own and we are always happy to answer your questions. We also invite you to bring your dog out for an introductory hike. That way you dog gets a chance to become familiar with our parks with mom or dad there to boost their confidence (think first day of kindergarten). And that tour is for you too. We want you to see where your dog will be playing when they are with us. We are proud of what we have created and we want share it with you.
Book your introductory hike today!