Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What Is A Professional Pet Sitter?

I've been asked more than once, "What is a professional pet sitter?" People wonder about the word "professional" and what that really means. It's a great question!

In the pet sitting industry, we make a strong distinction between professionals and what we call "hobby" pet sitters, as well as KNDs' ("kids next door") So what's the difference?

1. A professional pet sitter carries INSURANCE. This is a HUGE deal! If your pet sitter isn't insured, then you are putting your home and pet at risk. Nobody ever likes to think that things can go wrong. But if a pet is lost, or your valuables are stolen while you're away, or if your pet sitter accidentally leaves your water running or locks your keys in the house, a professional, insured & bonded pet sitter has you covered. Now that's REAL peace of mind!

2. A professional pet sitter is a LEADER. We work together in the industry for the benefit of all of our clients and their pets. We join organizations such as the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters and Professional United Pet Sitters to network, learn, and use what we've learned to help those we serve. We share ideas and offer a hand up to new pet sitters in the industry.

3. A professional pet sitter is TRAINED. I am Red Cross Pet First Aid certified, I attend pet sitting conferences and seminars, and I constantly read and learn about proper pet care to make sure I am offering my very best to the pets in my care. Industry magazines such as NAPPS Network help keep me informed on new trends and products to help pets and their owners.

4. A professional pet sitter has SOMETHING AT STAKE. What I mean is that we have business names and professional reputations to protect, so making sure our clients are satisfied is a huge priority. A hobby pet sitter who has no professional reputation to protect has nothing at stake. If they slack off on the job, or only visit your dog once a day instead of the three you requested, well, eh, no big deal, you'll get over it, right? If the kid next door doesn't like the hassle of wiping your dog's muddy paws, or forgets to lock the door on her way out, oh well. Don't get me started on the stories I've heard of college-aged non-professional "pet sitters" who decided that your home would make a great place to party while you're gone! (And sadly, I can relay dozens of these kinds of stories from my own clients, which is why they choose my services!) A professional pet sitter has worked hard to maintain a reputation for excellence, and we know that word of mouth is the best advertisement. We want to make sure you are satisfied.

I hope this illustrates some of the many advantages of hiring a truly professional pet sitter. Your home is your largest asset, and your pets are part of the family. You want to make sure that while you're away, an insured, knowledgeable professional is treating your home and family member with the utmost care and respect. That's why we say: when it comes to pet sitters, GO PRO!

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