Professional Pet Sitters Week
Each year, Professional Pet Sitters Week is observed in the first week of March. If you have a professional pet sitter caring for your pets please consider showing him or her how much you appreciate them. If you’re not sure what a professional pet sitter does, continue reading.
The History of Professional Pet Sitters Week
Pet Sitters International (PSI) first started observing Professional Pet Sitters Week in 1995. PSI considers someone to be a professional pet sitter if they have pet-sitter insurance and bonding, have any necessary local business licenses or permits, use a pet-sitting service contract, offer proof of clear criminal history and stay up to date on the latest pet-care information through continuing education.
How Can You Tell the Difference Between a Professional Pet Sitter and a “Hobbyist”?
Currently, there is no regulatory authority that oversees whether a person is a ‘professional pet sitter’ or not. While education, obtaining business licensure/permits, using a contract, providing background checks, insurance, and bonding certainly shows that a person is committed to being a professional, there are no existing set of requirements.
While the above mentioned criteria are important, they don’t clearly separate those that are performing as professionals and those that are not. Many ‘hobbyists’ can join the directory listing pet sitter web companies like Rover or Wag and have immediate access to education, contracts, background checks, and insurance. While the quality might be different, it’s not easy for the general pet mom or dad to understand the difference.
So What Makes a Professional a Professional?
The difference lays inherently in experience and education. A certain amount of years caring for pets does not mean that you are a professional pet sitter, it’s more the experience you have been exposed to and if you have taken the time to always learn how to be the best. Who cares if a sit gets missed, an accident occurs or an emergency happens? An owner of a professional pet sitting company does! Professional pet sitters have put procedures in place for their staff to follow to make certain the number one priority is the client’s pet. That is one of the major differences between a hobby sitter and a professional pet sitter.
Those listed on the directory sites just have a support number to call and no way to get in touch with the business owner. Since they are technically considered independent contractors working for the listing company, they cannot be told how to do their job. A true professional pet sitter has taken great steps in educating themselves and their staff in taking the best care for the owner’s pets.
For now, no regulatory authority exists to determine if a person providing care for your pets is professional or not. Until the industry has been regulated, a pet owner needs to be sure they are asking the right questions. Ask what experience that person has, ask what is their backup plan, ask what their emergency plan is, ask what education they have completed making certain your pet is their number 1? They should be educated, possess current business licensure/permits, use a contract, provide background checks, provide insurance, and bonding and be trained in pet first aid & CPR so they know what to do when something goes wrong.
Karla’s Pet Care is a professional pet sitting company in the Elk Grove area. Be sure to contact us for all your pet sitting and dog walking needs.