Kennels require vaccinations that can be expensive and your animals could be exposed to illnesses and parasites of other animals.
How to go about finding a sitter
Before deciding on your pet sitter, invite them to your home to meet your pets. This helps both the pet owner and pet sitter to decide whether they are the right fit.
Many pet owners arrange for two visits a day – one in the morning and another at dusk. The average cost per visit is R80 to R150 depending on the pet owner’s needs. Stay overs are also possible.
Apart from food, water and exercise, pets need interaction, play time and affection.
Duties of the pet owner
Leave clear instructions about responsibilities. Include contact details, emergency contact details as well as directions to your local veterinarian.
Leave a key with a neighbour as backup. Inform the pet sitter if anyone else has access to the property to avoid unnecessary alarm or misunderstandings.
Leave enough food, treats, toys, litter, cleaning supplies, medicine and other essentials. All supplies need to be easily accessible. Arrange to meet the pet sitter before you leave to show them where all the basic supplies are kept.
Provide clear instructions on how to administer medication for pets that need it.
All pets should have identification tags on their collars.
Duties of the pet sitter
- Follow instructions and keep the pet’s routine regular.
- Send the pet owner a photograph every day to set them at ease about how their pets are doing.
- Let the owners know if anything out of the ordinary has happened.
How to choose a pet sitter
- Ask for three local references.
- Ask the sitter to tell you about their experiences looking after animals.
- Ask if they are familiar with your pet breed.
- Ask whether they have a back-up plan if anything should happen to prevent them from performing their duties.
Find a pet sitter
Find a pet sitter in your area by entering “pet sitter” plus your area into a search engine. Look at their prices and services. Their contact details will be online as well.