It’s that time of the year again. Every summer you and your family head off on a fun holiday overseas or maybe on the opposite coast of Ireland. But, as with every year, you worry about who is going to take care of your beloved pets.
You have used a reputable pet sitting company in the past and your pets have loved staying at home, in familiar surroundings, being spoiled by the one-on-one attention they got during each visit.
But, you have just learned of a new pet minding service. A pet minding service is run by an individual or a family who cares for dogs in their own home.
Before you book a reservation, make sure you:
Talk with the pet minder.
Meet with the pet minder before you decide to move from pet sitting to pet minding for your pets this year. Ask plenty of questions, including:
- What is the pet minder’s experience with pets?
- Will your pet get plenty of one-on-one attention?
- How does the pet minder deal with the separation anxiety your dog may experience being away from home?
- How will your dog get exercised? Walks? Play time? Time out in the garden?
Ask for references.
Ask the pet minder for references of current and former clients. Call or email each reference and ask plenty of questions, such as:
- What did you like most and least about the pet minding experience?
- How did your dog adapt to being in a strange place?
- How did your dog adjust to coming home again?
- Would you recommend pet minding over pet sitting (if you’ve tried pet sitting in the past)?
Visit the pet minder’s home.
Get a tour of the pet minder’s space for the pets. Is there plenty of room? Is the home sufficiently pet proofed so your dog cannot get hurt? Where will your pet sleep? Where will your pet play?
Pay attention to the current boarders.
Look at the dogs currently being boarded at the home. Do they look happy and healthy? Do they appear engaged or bored? What is their demeanor?
Introduce your dog to the pet minder.
Does he appear comfortable? What about if you move toward the door to leave? Does he bound after you or appear stressed to think you are leaving him alone in an unfamiliar place?
Choosing between a pet minder and a pet sitter can be a tough decision, but ultimately it depends on your dog’s ability to thrive and be happy in an unfamiliar setting or whether you think he will be happier at home.