- Health Library
- PetMD U
|8 Common Snacks That Will Prompt a Portly Pet||Overweight Pets: Addressing the Epidemic||How to Care for Senior Pets||10 Simple Ways to Help Your Overweight Dog|
|Six Signs it’s Time to Change Your Pet’s Food||Top 5 Common Pet Owner Mistakes||Pet Nutrition in People Terms: Weight Gain||How to Choose the Best Dog Food|
|8 Best Hiking Trails for Dogs||5 Ways to Get Your Cat with Mobility Issues Moving||5 Ways to Get Your Dog with Mobility Issues Moving||5 Exercise Tips for Arthritic Cats|
|How Do Common Tick Medications Work?||Top Ten Most Lovable Dogs in the World||Top Five Resources for Unruly Dogs||Top Ten Reasons Mutts are Awesome|
|Top Five Reasons 'Moggies' Are Awesome||Are You Overfeeding Your Cat?||Five Impacts on Your Cat’s Nutritional Needs||Eight Safety Tips for Using Flea and Tick Product on Cats|
Naturally we all want the best care possible for our pets, especially if we're away for days at a time. Pet sitters are a great solution, but how do you know if you've hired someone who has your pet’s best interests at heart. Here are some clues to pay particular attention to upon your return. While some of these tips seem obvious, overlooking them can lead to insufficient care going on longer than it should.
Portions excerpted from a Pet360 article by Valerie Trumps
What is the condition of your pet’s water bowl? Is it dirty, or worse, completely dried up? Even if the water bowl has run dry from an accident like your pet knocking it over, an attentive sitter should be checking the water level daily at a minimum, and twice a day if the weather is especially hot.
And don't forget the food bowl. Are there bugs in it? Has dry food gotten wet and left to putrefy, or canned food gone crusty on the plate? A pet sitter who can’t stay on top of the minimal is someone who should be shown the door.
Do you see or smell any evidence of “accidents?” Not so obvious indications that your dog was taken out too late can include a scratched up door, suspicious carpet stains, or a lingering odor. On an extended basis, your dog can develop bladder infections from trying to hold his urine for too long, and possibly even behavioral issues regarding his potty practices. If you are a cat owner, does the litter box show signs of neglect? Too infrequent or inadequate cleanings may cause your kitty to seek out other places to relieve himself, or refuse to use his box at all.
Is your once-full refrigerator now bare? Do you smell cigarette smoke? Are your items moved around, or do they show signs of tampering? Is anything, especially valuables, missing? Have your neighbors reported unacceptable behavior, such as strangers being admitted into your home? Even if your pet sitter is providing overnight visits, appropriate behavior includes respect for your property. A pet sitter who does not inherently know these things should not have the responsibility of caring for your pet.
While occasional injuries to outdoor pets are not that unusual, a sudden or unexplained injury may be a cause for alarm. Signs to look for include a limp, cuts, bleeding, swelling of the limbs or around the face, and a general malaise.
Another indication of potential abuse is when your pet is afraid of the sitter. Uncharacteristic hostility and aggression towards the person means it’s time to find another pet sitter.
Making the decision to dismiss your pet sitter can be awkward and difficult, especially if your reason for doing so is nothing more than a sneaking suspicion. Regardless of whether the cause for dismissal is obvious or imagined, your pet’s health and well-being are dependent on your good judgment. Neglecting to take necessary action can have a far-reaching impact on both your psyche (i.e., guilt) and on the happiness and security of your pet.