MUST ASK QUESTIONS for your prospective pet sitter for Pet Sitter Education Month

MUST ASK QUESTONS for your prospective pet sitter for September Pet Sitter Education Month

Put their paws in capable hands: Have questions to ask a pet sitter? I've got the answers- because I asked!

If you live in the Ottawa Valley and need to travel but can't take your pet along for the ride, have no worries. You can put your pet's paws in very capable hands. PAWSitive Companionship for ALL Animals Big and Small Pet Sitting Services is a home away from home for your pets. For Lacey Duperron, she just calls it home- and her dream job!

In 2018 Lacey decided to pursue a career of caring for animals full-time by offering pet-sitting services. She has over 10 years of animal welfare experience and knowledge of several species of animals, making her the perfect person to care for animals with chronic illnesses, elderly pets, and exotic animals. Lacey offers pet-sitting services in her home or she can visit your home- depending on the type of experience you want for your pet. Lacey will even cater to emergency drop-ins and long stays.

Choosing a pet sitter that is right for your pet is an important task. If possible, you want to introduce your pet to the sitter before you have to use the services. Doing a walk of the pet sitter's facilities, whether it's their home or a daycare setting, should be done in advance. Asking the right questions when you interview the sitter can help you learn a lot about the compatibility they will have with your pet. What questions should you ask your pet sitter? I did a Q&A with Lacey! Check out the must-ask questions to ask your prospective pet sitter- and Lacey's answers!

MUST ASK QUESTONS for your prospective pet sitter for September Pet Sitter Education Month

What type of pet sitting and pet care services do you provide?

"I offer pet sitting in my home for dogs and small animals only, whether it's just for the day, overnight stays, short term, and long term. I also offer home visits, where I go into my client's homes and provide care for the pets in their home, which would include cats, dogs, and any small caged animals. I also offer nail trims."

What species of pets do you care for?

"I take care of canine, feline, reptilian, rodents, aquatic, and aviary animals."

What requirements do you have for pets who enter your home for your pet-sitting services?

"All pets must be up to date with their vaccines, treatments, and kennel cough in order to be in my home. Your dog must be dog and cat friendly in order to use my in-home services as I have my own dog and cats to think about."

MUST ASK QUESTONS for your prospective pet sitter for September Pet Sitter Education Month

What is your background and education in animal care or do you have pet-specific training?

"I have 14 years of experience working in a large, non-profit animal organization, including courses I have taken on animal behaviour, first aid training for animals, educating myself through ASPCA webinars, working closely with a dog trainer, having large ongoing discussions with veterinarians, and having general experience with a variety of on scene situations regarding animals. I also have training in animal care attendants levels 1, 2, and 3, training in zoonotic and disease control, medical intakes, animal control, and levels 1 and 2 wildlife training. I have also taken a course for animal care through the University of Toronto and have done behaviourist training, as well as safety training."

How do you prepare your home for pet sitting?

"I had to purchase lots of supplies, including dog beds, blankets, food dishes, a variety of toys, a variety of treats, pet gates, pet crates, and leashes. I also prepare by getting grooming products, cleaning supplies, toys for outdoor activities, and things like that. I also made areas of the home more pet friendly." 

Do you have pets of your own? If so, how do they react to you having other pets in your house?

"I have a dog (Ember) and two cats (Teigan and Baylor), who were adopted from the OSPCA. Just from the experience of working in the non-profit animal organization, my animals have adjusted to animals coming and going from my home, because of my previous participation in the foster program and tend to look forward to meeting new pets." 

MUST ASK QUESTONS for your prospective pet sitter for September Pet Sitter Education Month

What type of activities do you do with the pets in your care?

"A lot of outdoor activities, like setting up kiddie pools for the dogs, playing with bubbles, going for walks, playing fetch, frisbee, a scavenger hunt with treats. I also have an abundance of outdoor toys for the dogs to enjoy. Indoor activities include cuddling, wrestling, and playing with the bucket of toys that I have for the dogs. If I am in another person's home, I’ll take the dogs for walks, we’ll play outside, sometimes grooming the pets, and I’ll train them with basic commands such as sit, lay down."

What do you do if there is an emergency with the pets in your care?

"With all new clients, we go over an emergency plan. Depending on the severity of the incident, I will contact the owner and let them know what is going on, and make plans to take their pet to the emergency or let them come take their pet themselves. If it's a dire emergency, my priority is to get that animal into medical care ASAP, then contact the owners."

How has Covid-19 affected your business? What changes have you made? 

"In the beginning, I lost 100% of my bookings, which was really worrisome. Over time, people started going back to work or travelling, utilizing my business again. I followed social distancing guidelines and did what I could to maintain a safe environment for the dogs by keeping areas in my home as clean as possible. I also lessened the number of dogs I would allow in my home on a day-to-day basis. When I would go out to do a home visit, I would wear a mask, bring my own sanitizer, and make sure my hands were always clean while visiting."

MUST ASK QUESTONS for your prospective pet sitter for September Pet Sitter Education Month

I've had the pleasure of knowing Lacey for more than 5 years, and when it comes to professional pet-sitting services, there is no one I trust more with the care of Hazel. Her schedule is flexible, her service is affordable and her knowledge would be critical in an emergency situation. Many of you might be reading this and thinking 'what an amazing job!' You get to care for animals and meet so many new pets. Maybe you're considering a job change yourself? I had to ask Lacey more questions about her dream job.

What inspired you to start your business? 

"I was inspired because I worked in a non-profit animal organization for 14 years and decided I wanted a change in my life, where I could control my work hours and my schedule, surround myself with happy and healthy pets, and just be my own boss in the animal field which I am passionate about. I also noticed this type of business was a need in the community."

What do you love most about your job?

"Making a small difference in each pet that I take care of. Whether it be spending time grooming them, playing with them, or cuddling them, just giving them that little bit of time to bond is therapeutic for both the animals and myself."

MUST ASK QUESTONS for your prospective pet sitter for September Pet Sitter Education Month

If someone wants to start their own pet-sitting business, what advice would you give them?

"Do research for competition in your area, and prepare to be cleaning up after the animals all the time, there will be quite a bit of a cost to start up your business, you’ll have to be creative with your advertising, and don’t go into this just for the money. You have to have some kind of interest or passion to be successful with the animals."

September is Pet Sitter Education Month. If you're in the Ottawa Valley and need a pet sitter, check out PAWSitive Companionship for ALL Animals Big and Small Pet Sitting Services. 

MUST ASK QUESTONS for your prospective pet sitter for September Pet Sitter Education Month

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MUST ASK QUESTONS for your prospective pet sitter for September Pet Sitter Education Month

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