When we hear or use the term “best friend,” sometimes we’re referring to our furry four-legged companion and others to our two-legged com-padre in their human form. In either case, these important relationships are the cornerstone of our companionship and we’d do almost anything to keep them.
Many of us have heard expressions like, don’t lend money to a friend or you should never go into business with a relative, but there’s one more important idiom to add to the list – don’t let a friend or family member be your pet sitter. At first glance, this may seem like an unlikely statement, but there’s actually many valid reasons you should avoid this practice altogether, especially when you’re expecting someone to look after your animal in your home.
Let’s take a look at six reasons why you should hire a professional instead of relying on a friend or family member to look after your beloved pet:
#1 – INSURANCE
Obviously your friend or family member doesn’t have liability insurance for pet care in the off chance that something happens while you’re away. Neither of you, pet owner or caregiver, should be put into the position of having to pay for something that happens accidentally or unexpectedly.
#2 – BACKUP
Speaking of the unexpected, what if something unplanned does occur, car trouble, an accident or illness, would there be a backup plan in place? Many people don’t think about the unexpected, which is exactly why it’s called that, but unforeseen events can cause big trouble for little animals.
#3 – AVAILABILITY
Since things change and stuff happens, people’s schedules are altered, different responsibilities come and go, their availability could also shift during your absence. Duties at school, work or home could outweigh the promise of taking a friend’s dog for a walk or putting out more water for their sister’s cat. And depending on a certain individual to be available for your needs, even given a fair amount of previous notice, can be stressful for even the closest of relationships.
#4 – FREQUENCY
Asking someone to come to your home multiple times a day for feeding, attention and exercise is a pretty big burden to place on someone’s shoulders. They might tell you that it’s no big deal, but it can be a pretty big commitment and responsibility for friends or family members.
#5 – NOTIFICATION
In addition to caring for your beloved pet, you may want them to send you text messages or emails to keep you apprised and informed about the wellbeing of your pet. Even though this will give you tremendous peace of mind during your absence, your buddy or brother might think this is ridiculous and unnecessary.
#6 – EMERGENCY
If a medical emergency with your pet did occur in your absence, your pet sitter would need to respond accordingly and rush them to the nearest veterinarian or your chosen health care provider. For other more minor health issues, professional pet sitters almost always have some type of medical training that can help them differentiate between issues like a mild upset stomach versus a possible pet poisoning.
Check out this infographic to see the best ways to find the right pet sitter for your prized pooch or cuddly kitty cat. It’s better to spend some money on a professional rather than the possibility of ruining a friendship or alienating a family member.