Professional Pet Sitters Week (PPSW) was started by Patti Moran in 1995 under the umbrella of the Pet Sitters International (PSI) organization that she founded. Ms. Moran had no clue at that time that it would turn into an annual event.
The seeds of PSI and PPSW were sown back in 1983 when Ms. Moran lost her corporate job during a layoff. Tired of the corporate life and where it had led her, she decided to follow her passion for pets and started her own small pet-sitting business. It is now a passion and profession shared by many and it these hard working pet care givers that we honor this week.
At the core of PPSW
PPSW celebrates the professional pet-care providers who care for people’s pets when their owners are away. It also focuses on educating pet owners about the advantages of professional in-home pet care as well as encouraging pet-loving entrepreneurs to consider starting a career as a professional pet sitter.
This year’s observance
Celebrated annually during the first full week of March, this year’s 19th annual observance is from Sunday, March 3rd to Saturday, March 9th.
Choosing your own cat sitter
With this week’s focus on pet sitters, it is a good time for cat owners to plan for future trips where they will need someone to take care of their cat(s).
PSI suggests careful screening of any potential cat sitter—not every person who advertises cat-sitting services is well-trained, professional and reliable.
Inviting someone into your home to take care of your cat(s) while you are away is serious business. You will want to conduct an interview, have them come to your home for a face to face meeting with both you and your cat(s) and check their references. You may also want to read any reviews they may have on media sites like Yelp.
Here is an abbreviated check list of questions to ask your potential cat sitter:
How much experience does the pet sitter have in caring for cats?
How much time will the cat sitter spend in your home to care for your cat(s)?
During the in-home interview, does the cat sitter exhibit a positive attitude and seem comfortable and competent in caring for your cat(s)?
Does the pet sitter willingly and happily provide references?
Does the pet sitter use a service contract that spells out services performed and fees for doing so?
What backup plan does the cat sitter have in the case of a personal emergency while caring for your cat(s)?
From your side, you will need to make details very clear:
What should the cat sitter do if medical care is needed for your cat?
Who should the cat sitter contact in the case of an emergency with your cat(s) or in your home?
Will the cat sitter be responsible for watering plants, bringing in the mail, taking out the garbage on trash day, etc?
It is of utmost importance to make sure you and your cat sitter are on the same page about the details of caring for your cat(s) and home while you are away. It is equally important that you feel comfortable and secure with the cat sitter you choose and that your cat(s) are as comfortable as possible with the sitter and they with your cat(s).
PSI supplies a more in-depth list of questions to ask when looking for the ideal cat sitter. Check out their Tips for Conducting a Professional Pet Sitter Interview.
To find a local PSI pet sitter, search the Official Pet Sitter Locator™.
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