If you love your pets like family, you want to know you’re leaving them in good hands. The problem is that sometimes it’s hard to know you’ve chosen the right person to care for your beloved fur babies. This is a more personal article on how to spot incompetent pet sitters so you don’t make a devastating mistake that could haunt you and your pet.
One of the requests made to my former pet sitter was that she always set the alarm. There have been two fires at my house, so we didn’t want our pets in dangerous situations. The pet sitter failed to use the alarm repeatedly, and we later discovered it was because she didn’t want her time getting tracked.
If you have animals that must be in a crate while you’re away, you especially want them to have enough time out. A quality pet sitter will make it a point to give your fur babies plenty of outside time. While on vacation, we realized our sitter barely spent any time with the animals, leaving them in their kennels for many hours at a time. This is not only disrespectful, it’s a glaring sign of complete incompetence.
One of our fur babies has to wear a diaper because he gets separation anxiety and decides to tinkle on the floor. During our vacation, the sitter texted at 5:30 in the morning to let us know our pup wet his diaper and asked where another one could be found. When we responded about thirty minutes later, she had already left the house, leaving us to wonder if he was wearing a wet diaper, or not wearing one at all. This was upsetting, so we asked her to leave our key in case of an emergency because we knew someone else would need to check on our pets. Our dog had never wet his diaper previously, so we knew he could not wait.
On the second day of our vacation, the police called to let us know our alarm was going off. I contacted the sitter to ask if everything was okay and if she could check on the dogs. There was no response. I tried again about thirty minutes later and again was ignored. Thank goodness for friends who drop everything to go check on things when we are away. Our friend came and let the dogs out and noticed they all seemed more than eager to take care of business. Three hours later, I asked when the sitter would check on our dogs and was finally notified that she was on the way there. Once she let the dogs out, she left again, putting them back in their crates and alone for several more hours.
With things being so bad, we decided to come home early. After returning, we noticed the dogs seemed out of sorts. One of our pups was panicked and anxious, not wanting to go into the crate she’s always loved. She also had to potty every few minutes, requiring a trip to the vet. The diagnosis was a severe UTI, likely from being left in her crate for extended periods. My dog has never had a UTI before this incident.
We kept hoping things would improve with our pet sitter, as this was not her first time taking care of our pets. She had declined to respect our requests before, but we decided to give her one last try. This time, it was blatantly obvious that she completely neglected our pets and didn’t care. If you feel something is off, trust your gut and find a reputable pet sitter. Our pets deserve the best, and as pet parents, we deserve to leave our babies with someone reliable and competent. Our former sitter was neither, and we severed ties. If this happens to you, find someone you can trust who treats your babies like family because they are.