questionswhat have your experiences with pet sitters been…

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I haven't been able to find one that met my needs. Granted, I was looking when Loki was still fear-aggressive, and that's probably why.
I am curious about what everyone looks for in a sitter? Are the insured? Does that matter? etc.

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I recently pet sat for a friend of mine over the holidays. I'm just going to presume she asked me because she knows I like cats. The things I did for her are also the things I look for in a pet sitter.

- emailed updates
- brought the mail in
- did the cat box/took the cat trash out
- fed, played and pet the cat daily, and extra on weekends

I've had good experience with this nation wide chain: http://www.fetchpetcare.com/
They screen all the sitters, arrange for a pre-meeting before hand so you can see them actually meet your pet, they're very non-invasive (they will do what you ask and not overstep bounds you set).

Best of luck, finding a pet sitter is hard.

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Here is my reply from the other thread:

I called my vet and asked if they had any suggestions for a pet sitter. One of the vet techs actually lived in my town and said she did pet sitting, so that worked out perfectly! She charges $30 a day to stop by twice, I usually ask her to stop three times and give her $50 a day. She is there for about 45 minutes playing with Floyd and letting him do his business. She also leaves a description as to what times she was there and what was done.

Floyd is a 10 year old English Bulldog so I get nervous when we have to leave him alone, but having a vet tech watching him makes us feel MUCH better. I would probably call a couple of local vets and see what/who they suggest.

Good luck!

All told

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I used to be a pet sitter. It started when I was involved in several dog clubs. That might be a good place to start looking for one. I also took care of pets at the apartment complex I lived at, and did house/ pet sitting through word of mouth for years. Also had a regular full time job. Pet sitting was a fun part-time job.
Places to start looking for a pet sitter:
All breed (AKC) Dog Club.
Dog training club (Obedience, Agility, etc...)
Specialty Dog Clubs (Every dog breed has it's own club that specializes in one breed)

Good luck in your search!

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Make sure to go over expectations, even if it's a family friend. Dogs and Cats do notice when you're gone and at least for my perts traumatic for them. So keping routines is important

When we get home from a trip it takes my dogs about 2 days to settle down and go back to normal. Our cats take the angry route, they meow at us as if they are scolding us. Then, they usually will stand on us about 2 am for a pet - I assume the hour they chose is our punishment as they rarely ever do it.

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@moondrake: Thanks for starting a new thread!

This is all good info to have.

I take it that pet-sitters typically stay at one's house?

@coondogg97: Do you crate Floyd? We have two dogs who, if left unsupervised, will deal with boredom (hunger, loneliness, Thursdays) by chewing on anything they can get their teeth into. We wound up crating them when we leave the house, just so it would be intact.

One of them is too smart for her own good - she figured out how to go under our chain link fence. So we have an invisible fence for her on top of our chain link fence. OK - it actually runs along the bottom, but you get the idea.

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@75grandville: We did the crate training when he was a puppy but no crate for him now. He is a ten year old Bulldog, he isn't moving much nowadays!

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@75grandville: Most pet sitters actually come by 1-3x a day to feed the pets and do other duties as needed. Finding one that will actually stay at the house is challenging. That's why I feel like it would be a great job for a college kid, especially ones living in the dorms. They'd get a house or apartment to live in rent free while people go on vacation, and get paid to do it. A lot of adults have responsibilities, kids, pets, etc that prevent them from just going to live in a different house for a while. If I was comfortable kenneling him I could take him to Great Dane Rescue's space and pay them to look after him. But the #1 killer for Great Danes is bloat, 1 in 6 danes get it, and one of the big triggers is stress. Me leaving him is a big enough stressor without making huge changes to his day to day life on top of it. So I prefer to leave him with people he knows, but when I can't do that I still try to hire someone that will maintain his regular schedule at home.

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@moondrake: Thanks. We've got two dogs that need to be crated when we are not around, and a third that is very nervous (10 yo black lab). The two could probably be boarded safely - it's the third I worry about.

We did make arrangements to have someone come in 3x a day to feed & exercise them when we had to leave town last year, just trying to find something that won't keep two of them cooped up for 23 hours per day.

The two that are crated are b/c they chew when bored/hungry/lonely. They've gone through an impressive array of furniture, clothing, shoes, books, toys, etc. even when we are home. Have not had to deal with this with previous pets.

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Talking to local vets is a good option. We have a reliable petsitter who visits twice a day, one of our cats needs medication. The petsitter's father is retired + helps out and is willing to stay overnight, but we haven't tried that option yet. We got spoiled when my youngest brother was in the college age range and could come out for several days. Haven't tried the friend option yet, but considering it with some trepidation.

Try the petsitter out on a short trip. We had one petsitter who called us in tears because Flash had attacked her. Turned out the petsitter did things we specifically told her not to and Flash was pretty much just acting in self defense. Fun call to get when you're a ten hour drive away.

We've had one great petsitter, one who left the pets for two days in bad weather and didn't call, the one who scared Flash and the current one, who seems to suit. Finding a good one is a process. Good luck.

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I have a friend who house sits, so we've had him come check on our animals since the animals know and like him. One of my cats is practically obsessed with him. she climbs and rubs all over him whenever he comes over, haha.
Before that though, when I was younger, my mom would ask her coworker if he or his children would mind stopping buy to do the cat litter and make sure they had water and food (we used to have an automatic feeder until we got our dog, who eats EVERYTHING!!). I'm not sure how much they paid them but I'm sure it wasn't peanuts and also not terribly excessive since we had only cats, no dog yet, so a quick trip in and out was perfectly fine (we left a few lights on and a TV going).
I personally would be too afraid to look on craigslist, if I had to get a petsitter, I'd either find a friend or family member, maybe ask my vet for recommendations, or cancel my trip all together. I get too paranoid about kennels too, even though there is one basically across the street.

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I also hire a vet tech, $20 for 2x day. Gives me great peace of mind to know someone who could provide care for my boys is taking care of them.

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I've done it in the past (when I was still living with my parents shortly after college).
At that point, I stayed at the friend's house.
Similar setup, she stocked the fridge with food and I could have people come over and watch movies or whatever.
I was working during the day, but the dog (Chocolate Lab) was used to her being gone during the day anyway, so this was normal.
I was given $10 a day, plus whatever all the "free" food cost her to begin with.
Now we (my wife and I) watch her brother's dog at our house when they go out for the weekend or whatever. No labor charge or anything here though -- they just drop him off along with his food and some toys.
We don't mind though, he's 12 years old and very well behaved -- not like we have to worry about anything.