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March 1–7 is National Pet Sitters Week!

Tinsley & JackieThe first week in March has been declared National Pet Sitters Week. This is a time to raise awareness of the important role that pet sitters play in the lives of owners and pets alike. These trustworthy, dependable, and caring men and women deserve recognition for the great job they do in caring for the pets in our lives. If you are a pet sitter, thank you for all that you do. Your hard work and dedication to providing excellent care does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. You give the gifts of care and ease of mind to thousands of pet owners every day, and you create loving and meaningful bonds with the pets you serve.

If you are a pet owner, here are some ideas for showing appreciation to your pet sitter and some tips for helping them in the important work that they do.
If you think you’d like to get a pet sitter, keep reading for some tips for getting your pet sitter started off right.

If you already have a pet sitter:

Odds are, your pet sitter knows how much you appreciate them. You’ve welcomed them into your home and into the lives of your family members and pets. This week, if you like, you can add a little expression of that appreciation. A note of gratitude left on the counter, a small gift, or a monetary tip are all great expressions of thanks.

Another meaningful act is to find out if your pet sitter is part of a professional association. Many of these associations recognize excellence in their members. You can take the opportunity to nominate your pet sitter for recognition in their professional groups. If your pet sitter is employed by a sitting company, you can let the company know about your positive experiences with your pet sitter. Write a testimonial or make a call and let them know how great your sitter is. It’s possible that there are other services awards in your community. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to recognize the great work that your pet sitter does.

A big part of Pet Sitters Week is raising awareness about the importance of what pet sitters do. In honor of the week, you can take the chance to talk more with your friends and family about your experiences with your pet sitter. You can spread the word through social media, blogs, letters to the editor, and other methods. By sharing the good experiences that you’ve had, you may influence other pet owners to also take advantage of the services of a pet sitter, if that is right for them. By spreading the word about the positive experiences you’ve had with your pet sitter, you may encourage other hesitant pet owners to take advantage of the peace of mind that having a good pet sitter affords.

If you are getting a pet sitter for the first time:
(These tips are also great for seasoned pet sitting employers)

You might be getting a one-time sitter to care for your pet while you’re on a trip. Or perhaps you’re getting a long-term sitter to visit your pet while you’re at work during the day. Either way, there are plenty of things you can do to help your pet sitter out.

Early scheduling:
As soon as you know the schedule for your pet-sitting needs, give your pet sitter a call and set the appointment. While emergency, last-minute arrangements sometimes need to be made, for the most part, you can set things up far in advance. This will reduce stress for your sitter and guarantee that you’ll be able to secure their assistance when you need it.

Prepare your house:
Keep all pet-care items in visible, easy-to-access places. This will allow your pet sitter to focus on your pet rather than spending too much time searching the pantry for the pet treats. Some of the items to keep out can include: food, dishes, leash, care/grooming kits, house key on lanyard or keychain, treats, medication, toys, and cleaning tools (for spot cleaning, if it’s needed). In addition to having things visible, make sure there’s enough of everything to go around. If you’re leaving for an extended trip, buy enough food to last the entire time.

Full Information:
Give your pet sitter everything he or she needs to be able to take care of your pet. This includes entry codes if you live in a gated community, garage codes, if you’d like the sitter to enter through your garage, a house key, and clear instructions and expectations, so there’s not confusion about the care you would like your pet to receive. You can also inform your sitter about any quirks about the house (don’t open this window because it sticks) and any other possible visitors (delivery men, maid service, etc.). A tour of your house with an explanation about off-limits spots for your pets will help your sitter out as well.

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