Whether it’s for business or pleasure, we all have overnight trips pop up. Sadly, we can’t always bring our family members, especially the furry ones.

Since March 1–7 is Professional Pet Sitters Week, here are some things to keep in mind as you search for someone to take care of your dog or cat.

  1. Think ahead. Don’t have a trip planned yet? Perfect! Start this process before you have to head out of town. That way, when it’s time to travel, you can avoid the panic.How to Find a Pet Sitter Image
  2. Ask family and friends. If you can find someone you know and trust to stay at your home while you’re away, that’s ideal. You won’t have to pack up all their supplies, meaning one less thing for you to stress about before your trip. Plus, it means your pet will be able to hang out in a familiar environment; pets are more likely to go missing in new places, but it’s important to have them microchipped either way.
  3. Find a professional as a backup. Of course, you’d rather leave your pet with someone you know, but having a boarding facility or professional pet sitter in your back pocket means you’ll have an option if personal connections don’t pan out.
  4. Do some research. Better yet, get a word-of-mouth recommendation from another pet parent you trust. Read reviews of the business on Facebook, Google and any other available social channels and narrow down your top choices.
  5. Make sure they’re a good fit. Do you want your pet to have more structure or fun? Check their website and see if their facility style aligns with your preferences.
  6. How to Find a Pet Sitter ImageVet them. Talk to them about their experience level and medical requirements. Most boarding facilities need to get documents, like vaccine records and pet information, in advance. If they don’t require vaccine records, it’s best not to put your pet’s health at risk, even if you have great pet insurance.
  7. Check into security. Is the facility escape proof? How do they secure pets for outings? Ensure they take things seriously, and give yourself peace of mind with our 24/7 Pet Protection Membership Services.
  8. Book as far in advance as possible. When facilities or sitters are good, they are in demand, especially for popular times of year like long weekends. The earlier you can secure your spot, the better.c
  9. Budget accordingly. If you’re lucky enough to have a friend or family member do you a favor, try to return it. However, if you have to pay a professional, you may need to budget up to $80 per night for each pet.
  10. Don’t be shy about asking for a few photos during their stay. It’s hard being away from your pet, but photos can help you feel assured that they are being properly taken care of. Plus, you’ll get some keepsakes to tide you over until you can be reunited.
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