After you check out your potential Asheville pet sitter, and ensure they’re insured (and bonded), start making a list of any weird stuff about your pets and home.
Because lots of people forget about their pets’ peculiarities and home’s eccentricities. (And there are certainly some eccentrics in the Asheville pet world, btw.) If I don’t know your dog gets a treat every afternoon, for example, I’ll be baffled by his daily stare-down. Or if your cat potties in the bathtub when she’s mad at you for leaving. Stuff like that.
Also, think about the idiosyncrasies of your house that a new Asheville pet sitter wouldn’t know. Do you have to jiggle the front-door handle to lock it? Are the hot and cold water taps backward? Is your heating system delicate? Does your freezer door stay cracked open slightly if it’s not closed firmly? Will your dog try to relieve himself under the recliner if it’s raining? Believe me, your pet sitter will thank you!
Also, where do you want your sitter to sleep? Where do you want your pet to sleep? What pet routines and training do you want reinforced?
Hungry Pets & Pet Sitters
Decide which treats (if any) your pet can have daily, and when. Also explain your terms—I had a client leave me a note to give the dog a “bully stick” after walks and I had no idea what that was. Turns out it’s a digestible dog treat made of dried steer or bull penis (omg).
Of course, pet sitters can do Google searches, and call and text you (usually) to clear up any confusion, but we’d rather not bother you unless it’s an emergency! Because we pet sitters are there to make your life easier, after all.
And what about human food?
I happily bring my own food, regardless, to a client’s house, because everyone seems to eat differently these days. But if you don’t mind a pet sitters rummaging through your cabinets and fridge, let them know. And BE ASSERTIVE if you don’t want them to! One petsitting client said he just stopped using his previous pet sitter because she was eating him out of house and home. But he never SAID ANYTHING to her! Just tell us what’s OK and what’s not. It’s your house and your rules.
We don’t want to scarf up a sacred piece of your wedding cake in the freezer, for example, or special chocolate from France and expensive paté from the Netherlands.
Also, personally, we don’t think pet sitters should drink alcohol AT ALL on the job. (We at Asheville Home & Pet Care don’t drink at all, ever, actually. We also don’t smoke, vape or do drugs, of course!)
But if you’re comfortable with your pet sitter having a glass of wine or a beer, tell them so. I had a new client who left a note saying only: “Please don’t drink the tequila!” I imagined a hot-tub fiestita with the dogs in sombreros and the cat in a serape.
So in conclusion, think about what you need in a pet sitter—check out this article, too.
STAY TUNED FOR THE EXCITING PART III!!