It Takes More Than a Love For Pets

May 27, 2019   Tracey Aston   Hiring a Pet Sitter

Online dog walking apps and part-time pet sitters are popping up all over the internet, unfortunately, the horror stories are popping up just as fast behind them.  In addition, many internet sites are listing pet sitting as an easy, part-time business to start or a quick way to make some side hustle money. People see that and think “I love pets”  “I've owned a pet” “I want to cuddle puppies and kitties all day” and without training or a second thought, off they go and another tragedy isn't far behind. The fact of the matter is, most people don't know what all this job entails and what it takes to be a trained, insured Professional Pet Care Specialist.

There are no days off, sick days or bad weather days – pets need fed, walked and cared for at all times. A dog walker with a great review on an online app might have been great during a stroll in the park on a nice cool, sunny day, but will they brave a blizzard in January?  Dogs have been left in hot cars at the airport, left outside in the heat with no food or water and simply left alone to starve because a pet sitter couldn't show up to an appointment. How much can someone really love animals if they are willing to treat them this way?

Professional Pet Care Specialists will be trained in pet first aid and CPR and will have an emergency plan of action should a pet have an accident or emergency. Those sappy sweet pictures on the blog posts about how easy pet sitting is never manage to show the realities of what could, and unfortunately does, happen.  Could someone sit with a soft cat on their lap and pet them lovingly for an hour. Of course, couldn't we all? Now could that same someone be able to take action if the cat begins choking, has a seizure or another medical emergency? Are they trained in giving medications? Would they know what to do if a stray dog attacked a pet during a walk?

Another way pets are getting injured by pet sitters is illegal boarding. Many pet sitters will advertise they can watch a pet in their home. Most importantly, it's illegal to board or kennel animals in a home without a proper kennel license. PA Department of Agriculture lists all licensed kennels in your area.  Many of these pet sitters offering these services don't have a kennel license or the training on how to handle multiple dogs in a limited amount of space.  Again, the news is full of stories of dogs being mauled by another dog while in the care of an illegal boarder.  Another issue with these illegal kennels is the number of pets that get lost by running out of open doors or out from under broken fences and more times than not, they don't even know the proper steps to take to find a lost pet.   A lost pet in a strange area can risk coming upon another dog and being attacked or worse, getting hit by a car! If someone who is kenneling at their home can't even be bothered to get a proper license, do they really care about animals? Will they spend their own time trying to find a lost dog or is the dog just a quick buck for them that they stop caring about when the money runs out.

If it was as easy as cuddling puppies and kitties all day, let's be honest, we'd all be doing it! Pet care is a very serious business and requires taking responsibility for someone's living, breathing, well-loved family member. It takes experience. It takes training. It takes dedication. It takes following the law and regulations for pet care. If takes more than a love for pets!

Certified Professional Pet Sitter
PetTech CPR & First Aid Certified
PPG Badge
Pet Sitters International
National Association of Professional Pet Sitters
Angieslist 2015 Super Servica Award
Angieslist 2016 Super Service Award
Shock Free
Pet First Aid/CPR Certified
Pittsburgh's Professional Pet Sitters Network
Bite Prevention Educator
Doggone Safe
2020 Nextdoor
Fear Free Logo
National Association of Professional Pet Sitters Certification