Leave the Pet Sitting to the Pet Professionals
Mobile technology is dramatically bettering our lives in a number of ways. Getting services such as food delivery, cab services, and even laundry services at the touch of a button sound as convenient as it will ever get. However, when these “hip” new mobile apps traverse into territory where the safety of your beloved family members, your pets, is not 100 percent guaranteed, a line must be drawn.
Pet-sharing apps are not new to the world; they have been around for a few years and are used globally by pet owners looking to hire pet sitters on demand. Wag.com and Rover.com and dogvacay are just but a few of the more popular names in that informal pet-sitting industry. In a nutshell, these services allow pet owners to track down and hire pet sitters that live in close proximity. Not unlike the popular dating app Tinder, the pet owners browse through a number of potential sitters and, based on their profiles, choose the one they prefer to leave their pets with. Idyllically, this sounds like quite a convenient arrangement. But we do not live in an idyllic world and picking random strangers off a social media-like setup to come into your home and take care of your pets is literally flirting with danger.
Any serious pet owner would be skeptical of leaving their pet(s) with someone who would practically be a complete stranger. These trust issues are often not unfounded since trusting your pet with someone you’ve just met is comparable to leaving your child in the care of absolute strangers. Unlike professional pet sitting companies with personal reviews and their own company website, some of the dog-sharing applications give you no chance to get personally acquainted with the individual you’re supposed to entrust your pets. Does your pet sitter have a website with personal reviews, such crucial details about a person or their employees, their motivation to offer pet-sitting services, and their history with pets might not be disclosed beforehand and you might find yourself blindsided by some dire consequences?
Look into the insurance that they offer and be sure to read ALL the fine print. Google the reviews that former clients have written on Google and other social media outlets. Just be sure to do your homework.
What separates the grains from the chaff; the professionals from the casual pet sitters is not just experience and skill. The commitment of professional pet sitters to the job is what assures you that you are leaving your pet in safe hands.
Pet-sharing apps are more often than not frequented by people whose primary goal is just one: earn some extra money. They do this as a side job (not their primary profession) The extent these people are willing to go to ensure the safety and the security of your pets only go as far as they feel their paycheck covers. Rarely will you find them going above and beyond, and putting their own safety at risk to save your pet like a caring pet owner would?
What happens if something happens to your pet sitter from one of the “APP” companies? What if the hired pet sitter is in a car accident? Who covers YOUR pets? Professional pet sitting companies have a backup pet sitter in place to cover such incidents.
There is also the issue of pet insurance. What happens when the pet-sitter loses your pet? Worse, what happens if your pet dies while in his/her care? Do you get insured for your loss?
Unsurprisingly, the answer is no. Opting for an informal pet-sitting arrangement automatically leaves you responsible for the actions of someone you are not very familiar with. If you cannot agree on what to do when contingencies strike, especially in terms of your pet’s safety and security, chances are you are signing up for devastation and loss. This is never an issue you have to worry about with professional sitters.
In as much as experience is often sidelined when all the focus is on convenience, taking care of pets requires a lot of skill and experience. Trained or untrained, your pet has needs that differ from that of people and other animals. You, the pet owner, should know better than anyone else the special kind of care your beloved companion deserves. With that in mind, do you feel comfortable putting the health and wellbeing of your pet in the hands of someone with little or no experience with pets such as your own? If a dog begins to choke on a piece of food or becomes injured in one way or another, are they trained in animal first aid? Is the person capable of staying even-tempered after your pet bites, scratches, or destroys property on their watch?
These are the things that you need to inquire about before you leave your family member in the hands of just anybody. I say, call a professional pet sitting company, look at their reviews AND interview them. Don’t use those APP’S on-line, you just never know what you are going to get. READ THEIR REVIEWS!!!! Every professional pet sitter has their own website and reviews. Do your own research.
If you’re not sure about how to respond to any of these questions, steer clear from pet sharing apps completely.
As for those who are still stuck on the convenience factor, in this day and age, every company has a website and perhaps even a mobile app with which you can easily contact them to make pet-sitting arrangements. That said, there really is no excuse to place the safety of your beloved pet in jeopardy by leaving him/her in the hands of strangers. Make a wise choice and call the professionals.