Why NOW Is The Time to Book Holiday Pet Care
Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas may still be months away, but Pet Sitters International (PSI) is advising pet owners to start the search now for professional pet sitters for their holiday pet-care needs.
PSI, the world’s largest educational association for professional pet sitters, recently surveyed nearly 1,000 members and found that 65 percent of the professional pet sitters say they are usually fully booked for holiday pet-sitting visits at least two to three weeks prior to the holiday—and nearly 11 percent are fully booked at least two months in advance.
More than one-third of the responding pet sitters begin accepting holiday assignments a year in advance.
“Finding a pet sitter you trust allows you to truly enjoy your holiday, so pet owners shouldn’t delay in seeking professional pet sitters to watch their pets while they’re away visiting family, attending holiday parties or simply shopping late,” said PSI President Patti J. Moran.
PSI members try their best to accommodate last-minute bookings, but if they are completely booked, they indicated they recommend other nearby pet sitters as well as PSI’s Pet Sitter Locator.
PSI provides pet owners with access to the largest online directory of professional pet sitters free-of-charge and recommends that pet owners only select professional pet sitters to care for their pets.
“Knowing that a beloved pet can enjoy the stress-free environment of its own home during the holiday season can provide great peace of mind for pet owners,” Moran said. “But, it’s important that pet owners understand what to look for and what questions to ask when selecting a professional pet sitter.”
PSI advises pet owners to ask seven important questions when interviewing a potential pet sitter:
- Does the pet sitter have the proper business license for your city or state, if required?
- Is the pet sitter insured and bonded?
- Can the pet sitter provide proof of clear criminal history?
- Does the pet sitter provide client references?
- Will the pet sitter use a pet-sitting services agreement or contract?
- Is the pet sitter a Certified Professional Pet Sitter (CPPS®) and/or has he or she participated in other pet-care training, such as pet first aid?
- Is the pet sitter a member of a professional and educational association, such as Pet Sitters International?
PSI also warns traveling pet owners that not all pet-sitter directory sites and apps are created equal.
“When it comes to finding pet care, don’t prioritize convenience over quality,” explained PSI Vice-President Beth Stultz-Hairston. “Just because you can quickly find and book the services of a pet lover with a profile on a pet-sitting or dog-walking app doesn’t mean you are choosing a qualified pet-care provider.”
“While booking an on-demand pet sitter or dog walker may seem appealing, it’s important for pet owners to do their due diligence to ensure they are leaving their pets in good hands,” Stultz-Hairston added.
PSI recommends pet owners schedule an initial consultation with a potential pet sitter prior to booking services and offers a free pet-sitter interview checklist on the PSI website.
About Pet Sitters International
Founded in 1994 by Patti J. Moran, author of Pet Sitting for Profit, Pet Sitters International (PSI) is the world’s largest educational association for professional pet sitters, with member pet-sitting businesses in the United States, Canada and more than 20 other countries. PSI members have access to the widest array of business services and educational resources available in the professional pet-sitting industry. PSI’s Pet Sitter Locator is the largest online directory of professional pet sitters, and pet owners can visit petsit.com/locate to find local professional pet sitters.