Since I've been so busy, I've had to turn down a few last-minute pet sits. It's a tough issue that crops up for every sitter during the busy season (or year-round), so here are some tips to help you plan so that you aren't left without a pet sitter!
- Before you book your vacation or outing, check with your sitter to make sure he or she is available. This saves you and your sitter a potential headache!
- Make pet care your first priority - not your last! If you know your dates of travel, call your pet sitter immediately to book pet sitting for those dates. Even if it's 6 months in advance! The more advance notice you give your sitter, the better.
- If advance notice is impossible (we understand! Sometimes things pop up!) call as soon as you can. For last-minute sits, having some flexibility with the time of the sit can help your sitter fit you in to his or her schedule.
- Sometimes we really can't "squeeze you in". Clients expect us to take time and care with their pets, and by squeezing someone in to a booked schedule, even for a quick potty break (don't forget we have drive time there and back to think about too!) it means we would have to give less than our best to our clients who have booked us in advance, and that's not acceptable to us or to the people and pets we serve. We appreciate your understanding (and knowing that we wouldn't skimp on service to YOUR pets to accommodate someone else's last-minute plans!)
- We WANT to help you! For most professional pet sitters, this is our full-time job and how we earn our living. We love our clients and their pets, and we want to be there for you. We will always do everything we can to see that your pets are cared for. Sometimes, we are unavailable or booked (and pet sitters need vacations too!) Help us to help you by calling us in advance, and discussing options with your sitter - we may be able to refer you to someone or offer another solution.
- If you're a new client, remember that almost every professional sitter requires a meeting with you and your pets PRIOR to any service. So not only does the sitter need to have time in their schedule to sit for your pets, but also enough time to meet with you and your pets beforehand, and have you fill out our necessary paperwork. What this means is that if you are a new client, and you need service Saturday, and it's already Friday, there's a good chance that the sitter may not be available to meet with you and your pets prior to service, and will be unable to help you.
TIP: It's a great idea, especially for those new to the area or vacationing here, to call a pet sitter to arrange a meeting, even if you don't have any dates for service scheduled. Once the meeting is over and the paperwork is complete (and your pets get along with the sitter) then you have the peace of mind knowing that if you DO need service, then the pre-service meeting and paperwork are already out of the way!