Categories Pets

Advice on Pet Sitting

Vacations are supposed to be these carefree escapes where worries should take a backseat and new adventures move to the forefront. I don’t worry about the flight, where I’m going to stay, how much money to bring, or even the language barrier. The one thing I worry about during vacations is my pet. Who is going to watch my favorite ball of fur while I’m gone? How is my dog doing while I’m away? Is she getting her walks, meals, and playtime? Has she run off and the person watching her can’t find her? Oh, the stresses of leaving my furry friend behind. Of course, this applies to cats and any other animal you might be leaving behind while traveling as well.

You would think it should be relatively easy to get someone to watch a pet. Maybe a friend who also has a pet could do it, and then I would watch their pet when they go out of town. Or perhaps a friend who still lives with their parents would want to have a place to stay for a week or two, or maybe a friend who would do it just to be helpful. A family member, perhaps?

When it comes down to it, it’s not that easy, because like a parent leaving a child. I worry. Are they going to do a good job? Are they going to walk her enough? Is she going to escape from the yard and wander off into the streets looking for me? A parent who leaves a child doesn’t have to worry about these items as much, because people place a higher value on children. When a person leaves a child, the watcher (usually family), is going to take care of that child, because no one wants to be the person who has a friend’s child ran over by a car.

Should we dismiss losing a pet of a friend or family member as unimportant? I mean, it’s just an animal, right? A dog or cat, nothing more than that. For some people, those furry pals are like an extension of the family, or even like their own kids. So, when the thought of losing or seeing harm come to that dear dog crosses their minds, trust me, it hits them just as hard as any other profound loss.

What happens when people like me go on vacation? We stress about the one thing that most people don’t stress about, and we hope that even if that dog doesn’t get as much attention as it usually gets from us, that at least it will be alive and well when we return.
If you are willing to take on that responsibility, then view it as more than just something you have to do. View it as an honor. That pet owner, they’ve entrusted you with something more than just a chore. They have entrusted you with their child, their cherished companion, their beloved. So, shower that animal with your time and affection. Understand, they might be a bit scared at not having the normal caretaker around each day. This new setup might be a bit disconcerting. If you’re caring for a dog, make time for walks, indulge them in a game of fetch, or other activity the animal enjoys. And even if some cats play it cool, believe me, they’re suckers for a good ear scratch or that feathery dance on a string.

Take the responsibility of pet sitting seriously. And be sure to send plenty of pics or videos to the owner while they are away. Sending visual updates to the owner while they’re off somewhere else does wonders to reassure them that their furry buddy is in capable hands. It’s like handing them a peace-of-mind ticket.

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