Last updated on December 15th, 2017 at 07:02 pm
There is no doubt that pet ownership can be an awesome responsibility and that for both young and senior dogs, it is particularly important to plan for extra expenses. For instance, young dogs will usually
need extra supervision so they do not get into the trash, chew on your belongings or have accidents. Older dogs may develop vision and hearing deficits that impact their ability to stay alone, while they may also need medication and extra care to prevent incontinence.
Although hiring a pet sitter is the best way to provide the care and supervision your pet needs, dog sitting rates can be expensive. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to minimize your costs and still be the responsible pet-owner you have always been.
One of the common reasons why people are forced to consider a pet sitter is because of their dog damaging and escaping the crate. In such cases, a better solution would be to go for heavy duty dog crates which ensures your dog cannot escape or damage the crate.
Another quick tip I would give is if you often leave your dogs alone at home, it might be worthwhile installing a wireless fence system. It’s easy to install and gives you the mental peace that your dog won’t be getting in trouble going outside its designated area.
Tip #1- Minimize What The Pet Sitter Will Be Doing
It only makes sense that if the pet sitter is given more responsibility, their fees will increase. For instance, an hour long walk after a midday meal, pet sitting rates typically cost more than watching your pet play in the backyard for a while.
If it is possible for you to provide long walks and meals before you leave and after you get home, instead of leaving the pet sitter to do so, you are likely to see lower fees.
Tip #2-Know the Difference Between Pet Taxi Services and Pet Sitting
It is a good idea to remember that just because your pet sitter offers transportation to your veterinarian’s office or to the groomer, does not necessarily mean that their fees for doing so are in
line with other professionals. Many veterinarians, animal hospitals, and pet groomers offer early and late hours, in order to accommodate their working clients.
If possible, it might be necessary to choose a care provider close to where you work, so that you can drop them off and pick them up, without needing the pet sitter. Conversely, you could drop them off and the sitter picks them up, which would also discount the total price. If those are not good choices, it may be worth calling around to find what the average prices are for transporting pets in your area. If they are lower than what your sitter charges, try negotiating a better price.
Tip #3-Hire A New Professional Dog Sitter
If you have investigated the different options for pet sitting recently, you have probably noticed some different professional associations for pet sitters. If you choose someone from one of this agencies, you have a much better chance of getting someone with training and experience than you would otherwise. However, you will pay for that experience, so a new professional may be the better choice.
If your dog is in good health and has no challenging behaviors or special needs, you may not need someone with years of experience. You may find that the younger dog sitters who are still building their clientele have more energy and charge less than their older competitors. Therefore, hiring a professional is an excellent idea, but you may not need the most experienced worker to walk your dog or make sure that your finicky cat eats a full meal and can cut down on your dog sitter rates.
Tip #4-Consider Your Insurance Needs and Status
Obviously, you need to know that anyone who works or provides a service of any type at your home is adequately insured in case of mishap. The uncomfortable extension to that is that you need to cover yourself and your home against the possibility of theft, especially since you will probably not be at home while they are there.
That means that in essence, you could be double insuring yourself. If your pet sitter is insured, in some way, those fees will be passed on along to you as a customer. You also have your own policy. The easy solution is to discuss with your insurance person what the most appropriate insurance will be for your needs and then letting the sitter know they do not need to provide any extra insurance for your home. Hopefully, you should be able to earn a discount.
Tip #5-Prepare Everything In Advance
It is important to remember that although pet sitters typically enjoy their work, they are still getting paid for their time with your pet. In order to maximize their time with your pet and minimize their time doing extra work, make sure you have done everything possible to save time.
Small things can really add up. For instance, getting their food ready in the morning before you leave, especially if it needs to be cut up or removed from containers, can save a bit of time. In addition, an automatic watering bowl can save everyone a lot of time, yourself included. Medication can be premixed and sterile water is easy to provide in advance. If any of your dogs have issues with sensitive stomach, make sure you let the pet sitter know about which dog requires sensitive stomach dog food. You would also brief the pet sitter on where the dogs equipment and toys are.
One of the most difficult aspects for many dog sitters is finding employment that is convenient to access. They will lose time and money if they have three pet sitting jobs each day, in different parts of town or if they are fighting traffic to get there.
The solution, much like nanny sharing for children, is to work with nearby pet-owners. When your pet sitter has steady work, that is convenient to access and she does not need to find new clients on her own, you could easily get a lower rate in exchange.
Tip #7-Minimize the Daily Visits if Feasible
Understanding the normal growth and development of your pet is essential to knowing what to expect as they mature. Your six weeks old puppy may have needed three hour-long visits each day to make sure he had ample time to visit each bush in the backyard and to prevent him from becoming lonely. Three months later, his bladder and bowels have probably grown enough that they do not need as much supervision.
It is best to closely observe your pet’s habits when you are home with them and then, to use that information to make plans for their care when you are unavailable. As part of that, remember that what goes in must come out, so when they are old enough to need fewer, larger feedings, you will be better able to control their elimination habits. You can also take advantage of online pet finding services like this where you can post your requirements and find suitable pet sitters in your area.
In conclusion, hiring the right pet sitter is important for your pet’s safety and well-being. However, that does not mean that it is always necessary to spend a fortune. Your pet will benefit enormously from the tender loving care of an experienced pet professional and you will benefit from knowing that all of their needs are being met, for a price you can afford.