This guest post is sponsored by Rover.com and written by Nat Smith, Rover.com community member. Rover is the nation’s largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers.
There are many tasks on our to-do list over the holiday season, from shopping to entertaining to planning our holiday travel. When Rover.com reached out to partner with us, we were excited for the opportunity to share their tips for finding a pet sitter during the holidays. We hope this helps simplify your holiday planning and find just the right sitter to care for your four-legged family members as you celebrate the holiday season.
You probably already have a reliable pet-sitter who typically looks after your pets when you’re out of town. Maybe you’ve found a college student, family member, or trusted friend to help you out. But as the year draws to a close, availability gets scarce. That student is halfway across the country, and your neighbors are busier than ever. You don’t want to leave your dears with a stranger. What do you do?
It’s simple: Go to Rover.com. This online community is filled with proven, reliable caregivers at the ready. They can house-sit and look after everything while you’re gone, ensuring the safety and security in your stead. Alternately, a sitter can host your pet in their home. And if things get hectic while you pack or prepare for the holidays, a sitter can even provide doggy daycare or drop by for a walk.
Once you click over to the homepage, you’ll sign up to get a discount on your first booking. You can add a photo of your pet to your profile, and some info about who you are and what you’re looking for. After all, you want people to be interested in the gig you’re offering, and it helps if they have a sense of what kind of person you are and what kind of personality your dog has. What are their favorite games, activities, and places to go?
The process of finding a great sitter may take some time, but it’s easier than you might think. As you browse through Rover profiles, look for highly-rated caregivers, and click through to read more about them. You can search by available dates, to ensure that your options are actually looking for holiday gigs. These sitters often want a buddy during a potentially lonely season–or they’re just dedicated to ensuring that every pet is well cared for, no matter what time of year it is. By reading their profiles, you can learn why they pet-sit, what kinds of experience they have, the activities that they enjoy, and how they’ll entertain and care for your pup.
At this point, it’s time to start sending messages. First and foremost, you want to know whether the sitter is available and interested. Secondly, you can ask questions to clarify or get further insight into information they provide. This shouldn’t come across as an interrogation; it’s an opportunity for you to connect with the sitter and get to know them. You’ll want to set up a Meet & Greet, probably 1-2 weeks before you leave town. That gives you time to find someone else if they’re not a good fit, and for them to get familiar with your home, your pet, and your needs.
Don’t feel obligated to hire the first person you meet. If they don’t seem up to the job, keep looking. But if they meet your expectations, communicate clearly, and are able to connect with your pet, you’ve probably found a good match. During the stay, you can check in frequently to find out how your pet is doing, get photos, and answer any questions that arise. Don’t be afraid to be direct if you have a concern: it will help them know exactly what to look out for, and how to fulfill your pet’s needs on every level.
Now, your job is to relax and enjoy your holiday and time with family. You know that your pet is in good hands, and that Rover’s insurance and payment-processing will cover all the known and unknown financial aspects. And you can rest easy knowing that your pets are having a wonderful time, enjoying a lovely holiday vacation of their own.