Long weekends and holidays. Remember how easy it was back before you had kids, um, I mean, dogs?
Taking care of your furry friends adds one more thing to your check list, plus a line item in your vacation budget. If you're gone for an extended trip, you may also have concerns for your dogs' comfort.
That's the dilemma this dog mom faced for a 20-day visit to out-of-state family mid-July. I love my boarding facility, but with 2 large dogs that was going to run up $100+ a day. Instead, a friend recommended Mandi's Mutts. It turned out to be the perfect solution for me. Not only would my pets be cared for in my own home, but I knew my house would be looked after as well.
Amanda Newman, owner of Mandi's Mutts, started her dog care business two years ago as way to make extra income. It's now a full-time job, with services including dog walking, drop-in visits (for the unexpected late night at work or out with friends), and in-home pet care.
Says Mandi, "My client's well-being and safety is my number one priority. All my clients are repeat customers, and most of my business is through referrals."
Before my trip, Mandi met with me and the dogs to review their food, personalities and any concerns I had. She also asked questions about medications and my veterinarian.
In-home boarding was a new experience for me. It made for a relaxing vacation knowing my dogs were having fun! I received daily texts from Mandi letting me know how they were, plus pictures of them sprawled on the couch getting belly rubs.
Bonus points: all my plants were kept watered during the Texas summer heat wave! Plants and Pets. What a combo!
Location: Mandi focuses on the Heights, Timbergrove, Garden Oaks Oak Forest, Memorial and Spring Branch.
Things to Review with Your Pet Sitter
When setting up a pet sitter arrangement, these are some of the items you should review with your sitter.
- Number of walks per day
- Location of local vet
- Preferred emergency care veterinarian and permission form for emergency treatment
- Communication preferences (phone, text, email)
- Emergency contact information
- Habits and quirks (My dog is fierce in her protection of the home from all delivery people.)
- Any extras needed, like watering plants, bringing in the mail or housecleaning
- Fee agreement
It's important to have an in-person meet and greet before your departure. Let's just call it the "sniff test" since we're talking about dogs here. Does the sitter seem comfortable with your dogs and vice-versa?
How Do I Find a Local Pet Sitter?
Here are a couple ways to find local pet sitters near you:
- Boarding facility. Many boarding facilities also offer in-home pet sitting.
- Family/Friend Referrals. Ask friends and family for a referral.
- Social Networking. Your local Next Door or neighborhood Facebook page likely has some chatter about pet sitters
- National pet sitter services. These include Rover.com and DogVacay.com.
- Google. A search for "pet sitters near me" will pull up local services. Here are some to get you started: