When choosing a pet sitter in the CT Shoreline area, some pet parents ask a neighbor or friends for their sitter’s contact info, while others opt for the nearest boarding facility. Having someone else care for your pets should not be taken lightly.
Anyone can walk a dog, right? It’s actually not that simple. Today, I’m breaking down my top tips for choosing a pet sitter in Connecticut. Following these tips will ensure you and your pet have a positive experience with your pet care services and provider.
LIABILITY & WORKERS COMPENSATION INSURANCE
Here are some examples of insurance claims (none are ours, phew!) that were covered by our liability insurance. Directly for the insurance’s underwriter quarterly newsletter:
- A dog was hit by a car and required multiple surgeries and physical therapy. Total Paid $24,608.
- A cat was given too much insulin. Total Paid $13,433.
- A dog was killed by another dog while in pet sitter’s care. Total Paid $22,378
- A sitter left the toilet running and caused water damage to the contents of the client’s home. Total Paid $29,832.
- The client returned from a three-day trip to find their cat with repeated diarrhea and vomiting; the client took to the vet for tests and it was determined that the cause may have been treats given by the member – $412.95 paid
- The client dog got a foxtail in his paw while on an on-leash walk with the member; the owner took to the vet for care – $662.71 paid
- The member left the client dogs in designated area at the client’s house, but didn’t secure the door properly; the dogs got out and damaged the client’s sofa – $800 paid
- The client’s two dogs ingested foreign objects while inside their home during a pet sitting job; one dog needed surgery and both dogs had to stay overnight at the vet hospital – $9733.15 paid
- The member was walking a client dog on-leash when the dog sniffed a fish hook and it went through his cheek; the member took to the vet for removal – $421.95 paid
- The member tripped over the client’s cat at the client’s home and broke the coffee table when she fell on it – $416.71 paid
Liability insurance is a MUST when you have someone responsible for the care of your home and pets. What would happen if you hire a neighborhood kid and one of the above happens?
“My neighbor actually happens to be an insured pet sitter who works by herself”, that’s great!
WORKER’S COMPENSATION INSURANCE
At SHP, we are all about fostering community. I was a solo sitter myself (Adriana) for many years and while I held liability insurance, I did not have workmen’s compensation insurance.
However, thanks to our growth we now have amazing employees and we DO carry workmen’s compensation insurance. It’s only a legal requirement (not required in all states) but it also protects you as the client from liability from someone suffering injuries at your home.
For example, in the winter of 2018, a local Rover dog sitter in Old Saybrook, slip and fell on ice on the client’s front door steps and shattered her knee. Unfortunately, since she did not carry workmen’s compensation (only Rover’s Guaranteed POM ‘insurance’), she resorted to sue the client’s Homeowner’s Insurance to cover medical expenses AND lost wages from such injury. This is a common occurrence whenever anyone suffers an injury at someone else’s residence. Now imagine once you add dogs to the mix where animal related injuries may happen.
Don’t run that risk.
You are covered with SHP – we are fully insured & bonded! With Liability Insurance AND Workmen’s Compensation Insurance.
Ask your potential sitter for at least two references of other pet parents who they have worked with. Professional references are not enough, you need to make sure your Pet Sitter has been reliable and proven to do a good job when it comes to pets. Talking to two sets of pet parents will give you an overall feeling of their work ethic.
CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS
Anyone can seem nice and harmless, but their history with law enforcement might tell otherwise. Make sure your Pet Sitter has a current Background Check available to you with a clean record.
Pets are living beings and emergencies happen. Your Pet Sitter should be qualified to perform Pet First Aid & CPR AND able to take your pets to the animal hospital when required!
Make sure their certification is up to date, ask to see their certificate.
What happens if your Pet Sitter has a family emergency and needs to leave town? What’s the plan if they become severely ill? What if their car breaks? What if the unthinkable happens?
PET CARE CONTRACT
Transparency is key. Chose a Pet Sitter who will supply you with a pet care contract outlining duties to be completed, key policy, vet release, payment & service terms, etc. If anything happens, there is a document to protect you legally as a consumer. At SHP we provide all our clients with Service Agreements.
Make sure your pet sitter is local to your area. Having someone who lives 45 minutes away might not be the best idea to juggle their schedule and your pet care needs. Also, what would happen if they get stuck at work or stuck in a car wreck that far away?
Old Saybrook, Essex, Ivoryton, Centerbrook, Deep River, Chester, Westbrook, Clinton, Old Lyme, East Lyme, Niantic
Selected Parts of: Lyme, Madison, Killingworth, Haddam, Higganum & East Haddam
Newly Added Areas: Waterford, Groton, Uncasville, Gales Ferry, New London, Mystic & Noank
PEACE OF MIND
Who wants to scramble to get a new pet sitter every time you have to travel?
Students are great but they always move on to better bigger things and they are not to blame.
Choose a Pet Sitter who is available year round and is going to be local to your area in the long-term. Choose a professional whose care of your pets is their livelihood and not their hobby.
INITIAL MEET & GREET
It is imperative you meet for an introduction with your Pet Sitter with enough time prior to your pet care needs. See how they interact with your pets, how your pets react to them, if they understand the tasks and routines you explain, and set expectations from the start!
We hope these tips have helped in your search!
Are you ready to hire a Professional Pet Sitter?